The importance of maintaining a discipline

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joe
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The importance of maintaining a discipline

Post by joe » Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:07 am

When you speak of having a set of rituals to keep you mindful, people will say those are traps. But isn't one of the big differences between people who join and follow formal religious groups and those just shopping the "spiritual market" that there is a discipline that goes with adopting a particular school, tradition, or however you would term it?

In connection to this question, how important is it that one chooses a tradition and follows its specific practices? Certainly Tolle doesn't discuss the need for this, suggesting any vehicle will do as long as you are present. This brings up other questions as well, such as whether one must have a guru to be able to progress spiritually, as opposed to being in isolation from a spiritual community.

Can some of you share your thoughts?

karmarider
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Re: The importance of maintaining a discipline

Post by karmarider » Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:05 pm

I haven't felt the need for rituals, self-discipline, a particular tradition or even particular practices. I have no particular reverence for gurus or spiritual leaders or highly spiritualized people. I am suspicious of fluffy, capitalized spiriutal words and ideas.

The way I see and the way it's worked for me is that awakening is a practical thing, not a mystical or spirtual thing.

What seems to happen is that there is the first insight, and after that it's a matter of exploring the very next step, but not getting stuck in it. What's been most helpful is self-observing and self-honesty. Once the first insight comes (that there is something off-kilter in the way I see life), there is the compelling intention to find truth. Next steps seems to show up on its own. They can be an idea or pointer or technique, and I explore it and observe the truth of it in my experience.

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rachMiel
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Re: The importance of maintaining a discipline

Post by rachMiel » Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:42 pm

I'd say it's completely up to you. If you feel the need for discipline and ritual, go for it. If you don't, don't.

Don't make it into a problem. All that will do is give you an "out" so that you don't have to do the hard work that will get you to where you (think you) want to go. :-)
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

joe
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Re: The importance of maintaining a discipline

Post by joe » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:16 pm

These are both great responses. Thank you!
Karmarider, I would argue that if it's practicality it's practicality within the spiritual. To be present seems to me to be within one's spiritual dimension. And there are practical ways to do that.
I understand what you're saying that works for you, but for me, if I don't have some kind of "practice", I end up off the spiritual path, making excuses for myself. I suppose different people have different needs in this regard, but I feel like having a discipline will keep me focused. I guess the issue there is to not let maintaining a discipline become a problem or a struggle. Do you think you can stay focused without specific exercises?

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smiileyjen101
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Re: The importance of maintaining a discipline

Post by smiileyjen101 » Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:55 pm

Do you think you can stay focused without specific exercises?
Wouldn't one then be focussed on the exercises?

And then evaluating that, and one's 'performance' in that etc what was the point again.. oh that's right.. .to be mindful

hmmm...

Sorry I got lost there for a minute

:D :wink:

Whatever works for you Joe. Being is, whether you notice it or not.
... if I don't have some kind of "practice", I end up off the spiritual path, making excuses for myself.
Is this making excuses?? :wink:

Don't take it all so seriously.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
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runstrails
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Re: The importance of maintaining a discipline

Post by runstrails » Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:06 am

Hi Joe,
Good question. In my view, there are broadly two paths to realizing your true nature: the path of knowledge and the path of experience. In the path of knowledge, usually through self inquiry, there comes an understanding of your true nature (as awareness). No practices are usually needed for this, but a calm mind and a sincere, inquiring nature are useful. In the path of experience, many practices can be useful (e.g., meditation, yoga, zen sitting, prayer, chanting etc..).

Even though I'm a proponent of the path of knowledge. I've found practices like yoga to be very useful in creating a calm mind and disposition. But they are certainly not necessary. When I was going through my 'mad' seeking phase, I would conduct my self inquiry on long trail runs. When I ran myself to exhaustion, answers to my self inquiries would often emerge either during the run or shortly thereafter. I'm not advocating this route, but it was a sort of practice for me so I thought I would mention it. I kind of miss those runs. I still run almost everyday, but that intense fervor is missing.

I've never found much use for gurus and spiritual communities (other than this one ;). For me, the personalities of the gurus often gets in the way of their message. I don't even like watching teachers give satsangs on utube. I prefer to read their message in the form of articles and books. I found reading to be indispensable to my spiritual inquiry. Although at that time, it was more than a practice for me, something like an obsession!

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Re: The importance of maintaining a discipline

Post by joe » Wed Dec 25, 2013 9:50 pm

smiileyjen101 wrote:
Do you think you can stay focused without specific exercises?
Wouldn't one then be focussed on the exercises?

And then evaluating that, and one's 'performance' in that etc what was the point again.. oh that's right.. .to be mindful

hmmm...

Sorry I got lost there for a minute

:D :wink:

Whatever works for you Joe. Being is, whether you notice it or not.
... if I don't have some kind of "practice", I end up off the spiritual path, making excuses for myself.
Is this making excuses?? :wink:

Don't take it all so seriously.
I'm sorry, but this is all playing with language. It doesn't provide any answers or help. Practical advice is what I'm looking for to move me forward.

joe
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Re: The importance of maintaining a discipline

Post by joe » Wed Dec 25, 2013 9:58 pm

runstrails wrote:Hi Joe,
Good question. In my view, there are broadly two paths to realizing your true nature: the path of knowledge and the path of experience. In the path of knowledge, usually through self inquiry, there comes an understanding of your true nature (as awareness). No practices are usually needed for this, but a calm mind and a sincere, inquiring nature are useful. In the path of experience, many practices can be useful (e.g., meditation, yoga, zen sitting, prayer, chanting etc..).

Even though I'm a proponent of the path of knowledge. I've found practices like yoga to be very useful in creating a calm mind and disposition. But they are certainly not necessary. When I was going through my 'mad' seeking phase, I would conduct my self inquiry on long trail runs. When I ran myself to exhaustion, answers to my self inquiries would often emerge either during the run or shortly thereafter. I'm not advocating this route, but it was a sort of practice for me so I thought I would mention it. I kind of miss those runs. I still run almost everyday, but that intense fervor is missing.

I've never found much use for gurus and spiritual communities (other than this one ;). For me, the personalities of the gurus often gets in the way of their message. I don't even like watching teachers give satsangs on utube. I prefer to read their message in the form of articles and books. I found reading to be indispensable to my spiritual inquiry. Although at that time, it was more than a practice for me, something like an obsession!
Thanks for your response. I would argue however, that knowledge and experience are completely tied together. I don't think simple knowledge can make you more mindful without taking action. Similarly, to take action you must have the recognition that your true self is not the "little me". I am intrigued by your comment that the personalities of gurus distract you, even in the form of a video. For me, videos and reading both serve to inspire me and help me remember my true self and the nature of the mind. I gues I feel I need a set of daily rituals (in addition to my meditation) to keep me present. Ultimately though, despite what many say, I find that an effort is required, since the pull of the ego is so strong.

What do you think the role of "faith" is in the Eastern-influenced spiritual practice we are all discussing?

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Re: The importance of maintaining a discipline

Post by runstrails » Wed Dec 25, 2013 11:01 pm

joe wrote:
Similarly, to take action you must have the recognition that your true self is not the "little me".
Indeed. It's critical to not only realize that you are not little me, but further inquiry allows you to understand your true nature.
joe wrote:
What do you think the role of "faith" is in the Eastern-influenced spiritual practice we are all discussing?
There is the path of "bhakti" or devotion or faith which allows you to surrender your personal ego to something greater and find the truth in that way. Many have trodden this path successfully.
For me, since I am a scientist, faith is not a path that is natural or instinctive. Inquiry was the best path for me.

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smiileyjen101
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Re: The importance of maintaining a discipline

Post by smiileyjen101 » Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:12 am

Joe said I'm sorry, but this is all playing with language. It doesn't provide any answers or help. Practical advice is what I'm looking for to move me forward.
Apologies Joe - I wonder if you can read the answers again and just sit with them, let there be a space inside you where there is no argument with them, or any haste to understand them, or need to move forward or anywhere - just breathe gently and let them co-exist with you for a moment. Let this be your practice in this moment.

In the chapter on Portals into the unmanifested in PON, ET says -
'The unmanifested does not liberate you until you enter it consciously. That's why Jesus did not say: 'the truth will make you free' but 'You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.' This is not a conceptual truth. It is the truth of eternal life beyond form, which is known directly or not at all.
ET: Now, let your spiritual practice be this:
As you go about your life, don't give 100 percent of your attention to the external world and to your mind.

Keep some within.
...
Feel the inner body even when engaged in everyday activities, especially when engaged in relationships or when you are relating with nature. Feel the stillness deep inside it. Keep the portal open. It is quite possible to be conscious of the unmanifested throughout your life. You feel it as a deep sense of peace somewhere in the background, stillness that never leaves you, no matter what happens out here.

You become a bridge between the unmanifested and the manifested, between god (creation) and the world. This is the state of connectedness with the Source that we call enlightenment.

Don't get the impression that the unmanifested is separate from the manifested. How could it be> It is the life within every form, the inner essence of all that exists. It pervades the world.
I'm not sure if it is just word play ...you seem to ritually use 'But, I would argue...' in word expression, and in experience the word play is ... well it just is... dismissing and deflecting your attention from one thing to another thing

is there awareness of space - is there awareness of peace - is there awareness of the connection and energy in the silence between the word place -
is there awareness of acceptance, enjoyment, enthusiasm? or of making enemy, obstacle (excuse) or means to an end of a thing (ritual), person (guru) or situation/experience?

Are you awake in awareness of peace or asleep in your brain thinking there is some problem to solve in order to wake up?
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
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Fore
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Re: The importance of maintaining a discipline

Post by Fore » Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:05 am

smiileyjen101 wrote:Apologies Joe - I wonder if you can read the answers again and just sit with them, let there be a space inside you where there is no argument with them, or any haste to understand them, or need to move forward or anywhere - just breathe gently and let them co-exist with you for a moment. Let this be your practice in this moment.
What purpose does the breathing gently serve in this practice?

joe
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Re: The importance of maintaining a discipline

Post by joe » Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:22 pm

Fore wrote:
smiileyjen101 wrote:Apologies Joe - I wonder if you can read the answers again and just sit with them, let there be a space inside you where there is no argument with them, or any haste to understand them, or need to move forward or anywhere - just breathe gently and let them co-exist with you for a moment. Let this be your practice in this moment.
What purpose does the breathing gently serve in this practice?
What do you mean?

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Onceler
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Re: The importance of maintaining a discipline

Post by Onceler » Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:18 pm

I have a nice little daily Qi Gong practice that allows me to stay healthy, be in the moment,look at myself deeply, and keeps me running.

It's like a daily tune-up. It's not necessarily spiritual, but more like good energy hygiene. I believe people do yoga and meditate for the same reason.
Be present, be pleasant.

joe
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Re: The importance of maintaining a discipline

Post by joe » Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:11 pm

Would you mind describing it?

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smiileyjen101
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Re: The importance of maintaining a discipline

Post by smiileyjen101 » Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:09 am

Fore wrote:
smiileyjen101 wrote:
Apologies Joe - I wonder if you can read the answers again and just sit with them, let there be a space inside you where there is no argument with them, or any haste to understand them, or need to move forward or anywhere - just breathe gently and let them co-exist with you for a moment. Let this be your practice in this moment.

What purpose does the breathing gently serve in this practice?
Good question Fore :wink:
No purpose really, life happens while we're breathing.

Being aware of one's breathing, for me, is the start of relaxing into what is, so I guess I just described my 'ritual' - breathe out, the rest will all happen on its own :wink:

Interestingly, I do say 'breathe out' seriously, become aware of any out breath, in any time, in any circumstances and there it is... awareness
Karmarider said: The way I see and the way it's worked for me is that awakening is a practical thing, not a mystical or spiritual thing.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com

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