JimTempleman wrote: ↑Wed Sep 08, 2021 4:19 pm
Subjective matters are always at least 10x more difficult to gauge. (& I've done a lot of 'usability' testing).
I cannot fault you're responses to me. It's clear that you're giving me what you believe I need to hear. I thank you for that. I wish you the best in your studies.
These things are not subjective.
Dhyāna/samādhi/samapatti states, in Buddhadharma, are defined by specific mental factors which arise in predictable and repeatable fashions.
These things are discussed in Abhidharma, which concerns the first principles upon which Mahāyāna exegesis, including Chan/Zen are predicated.
The observation of the arising, abiding, and passing away of concepts in the mind is an instruction for beginners in every school of Mahāyāna Buddhism, at least those that actually engage in the cultivation of śamatha and vipaśyanā.
Further, there are many manuals, such as Asanga's text on śamatha, Kamalashila's manuals on cultivation and so on, as well as a very influential set of meditation manuals, which had great influence on people like Dogen, etc., by the fifth century Chinese master Chih-I. You should study them (which a teacher).
Buddhism has an extremely rich literature on contemplative phenomenology, if you will, a literature that most people have no access to, because most of it is still locked away in Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, Chinese, and Japanese. Further, all of the great masters spent years mastering these curriculums, combining their study with practice. This is why your post and subsequent remarks have met with general incredulity. You are simply out of your depth here.
Since you are a modern, educated person, you have the Western attitude that somehow these pre-modern systems, which are not based on a modern medical understanding of anatomy and physiology, need to be helped in some way, an attitude that is frankly mere cultural chauvinism, not grounded in any facts. For example, while in Tibetan medicine they did not recognize things such as neurons, etc., they certainly were aware of circulation, the connection between the brain, sense organs, and the functions of limbs and organs in the body via nerves, since at least the 10th century (they dealt with a lot of traumatic injuries from warfare, and their methods of diagnosing organ and brain damage from traumatic injuries are remarkable and accurate). One of the consequences of this attitude is that you feel, based on a couple of short, classical texts, that you have somehow grasped the entirety of Buddhadharma and are now in a position to offer your esteemed opinion on such matters, arrogating to yourself the position of having discovered "a brand new method of using the the 4NT as a skillful means." You haven't discovered anything new.
Even more ridiculous, you somehow insist that if your English phraseology is not found in classical texts, somehow this validates your so-called "discovery," as if all this is merely an exercise in creating a computational algorithm based on your conceptual observation of rising, abiding, and passing away of thoughts. You certainly do not know how to do meditation according to Buddhist instructions. You do not know how eliminate lethargy, nor avoid agitation, and a hundred other flaws and obstacles one confronts in meditation. You are talking to people, who in some cases, have spent years in solitary retreats practicing between 10-12 hours a day for extended periods of time.
So you must forgive us for finding your tone hubristic and arrogant.