Otherwise you've got to sit through the whole ride and deal with what comes up. It s easy to feel overawed, at first, by Ingram s assurance and ease in the higher levels of consciousness, but consistently he writes as a down-to-earth and compassionate guide to the practitioner willing to commit themselves this is a glittering gift of a book. Wright, for example, talked about checking your distracting thoughts at this time for their emotion: are they about anxiety or nostalgia or boredom? After all, it is all about getting to a natural, unconfused state of being i don't really care about the different models, realms and concentration states, frankly. Great job pointing out possible misguidance or pitfalls of human biases but it gets tiring if you already agree or have taken the point already. To me, Ingram was the decoder of many scriptures and he summarized it all in this book. We talk about meditation nowadays as a synonym of good practice.
Desire for Deliverance 222 -- 10. Having had a chance to digest much of the material I'm stunned at how much more there was which didn't stick on the first reading. It is just so frustrating to know that this guidance could have been delivered by any one of the many books I have read already if the people who wrote them had had the courage to break the stupid seal of mystery so prevalent among those who practice, if they had not been so irresponsible as to keep it all from me. So, to potential lucky reader: this book isn't messing around. As interested as I am in spirituality, I've gone 45 years without knowing the technical buddhist meaning of the term enlightenment. Cryptic and mysterious, yet he gives no specific prescriptions on how to generate them from his experience.
At least then they would know what might follow and could then make decisions about whether concentration practice might be all they want and whether the pursuit of insight is something they have the stomach for before they start. At this moment I do not think every person can or will experience these things and that they represent a number not all peoples experience. They all provided some context and at least of modicum of guidance and comfort that, despite the intensity of my experience, the depths of despair and and the emotional agony, this was the only way forward. To know that what was happening to me happens to all who tread the same road would have been a great deal more reassuring than the thought that I was basically skirting the edges of certifiable insanity. One clearly gets the sense Ingram knows what he says from firsthand experience. This is also mentioned in the book.
This is a section that demands multiple readings. In any case, this book is of great help to bring the ancient teachings of Buddha down to their essence, and to put a lot of things in perspective, free from all the glorious expectations and delusions. This being said, then what is hard is to review a book that claims to elucidate the path of Shravakayana Buddhism more deeply than all other books in terms of what to look for in actual practice. This book's a bit of a slog. The treatment given by Ingram to the Progress of Insight, as delineated by the Visuddhimagga and preferred by those in the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition, is golden.
I enjoyed this book and it has some no nonsense advice. Fruition occurs when the two have changed places and the whole thing vanishes. This can be useful if it is done wisely and it is actually all we have to work with. The aliens that take multiple hits to kill are our big issues, those things that are difficult for us to break into their composite sensations. The paradox, of course, is that you still have to investigate all this is on your own.
At over 600 pages this is a long, dense, and wordy book. One thing that struck me as odd was how Ingram pr ~10h 1. And if you are not ready for something, don't push it. Many thanks for their work on this. I find his explanations or directions in this book to sound more like philosophical metaphors rather than methods.
Even so, Ingram insists that enlightenment is an attainable goal, once our fanciful notions of it are stripped away, and we have learned to use meditation as a method for examining reality rather than an opportunity to wallow in self-absorbed mind-noise. While it may bring down some of those magical conceptions of enlightenment you may have, it will make you feel that enlightenment is realistic and attainable. He writes how the four postures of sitting, standing, walking, reclining each have plusses and minuses, the principle differences being in the energy level and effects on concentration. And while Ingram is not a particularly great or even good writer more on this below , he is at times eminently quotable. It's hard to describe this without sounding a bit loony, because it's all subjective experience, but that's kind of the point, isn't it? Pages and cover are clean and intact. Many years ago, ravaged by the effects of an abused childhood and ptsd as a result of service in two wars I turned in a moment of desperation to meditation for relief from the insanity, violence and self hatred that were ripping through my mind and had driven me to the edge of suicide.
Even so, Daniel Ingram insists that enlightenment is an attainable goal, once our fanciful notions of it are stripped away, and we have learned to use meditation as a method for examining reality rather than an opportunity to wallow in self-absorbed mind-noise. Or the Westerners who practise Buddhism by 'becoming neurotic about being Buddhist, accumulating lots of pretty books and expensive props, learning just enough of some new language to be pretentious, and by siting on a cushion engaged in free-form psychological whatnot while doing nothing resembling meditative practices. Overall, great work, and in my Top 5 books. Ingram sets out concisely the difference between concentration-based and insight vipassana meditation; he provides example practices; and most importantly he presents detailed maps of the states of mind we are likely to encounter, and the stages we must negotiate as we move through clearly-defined cycles of insight. That says a lot about a book like this, given that so many books on Buddhism and meditation are so vague and prone to navel-gazing. I can't resist offering a few snippets here.
As you ought to know by now if you read this blog regularly , an arhat there are variant spellings is one who has completed the Buddhist path as laid out in the Pali Suttas. He tackles the taboos and myths around the concept of enlightenment, clearly and succinctly lays out the stages and paths that spiritual progress takes and draws parallels and comparisons between Vipassana often called Insight Meditation in the west and other spiritual traditions. This is a natural process that needs a lot of artificial intervention in the beginning, but as you move on, it becomes more natural and evident. Ingram has a different goal: to make you feel as if you've found something important. That's why you get distracted.