Your summary of your search

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lmp
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Your summary of your search

Post by lmp » Sat Nov 08, 2014 4:34 pm

I wonder if you could do a short summary of the essence of your own search. What has compelled you to spend your time with whatever it is that is the nature of your particular (spiritual) quest.

Please don't see this primarily as an opportunity to disagree with my question, I think it is clear enough although it could be formulated differently.

runstrails
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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by runstrails » Sat Nov 08, 2014 7:23 pm

Hi imp,
My search started as a response to the question 'is this all there is?"
That lead me to reading de Mello and then in the NYT one day I saw a comment mentioning ET---I read ANE and PON and they had an amazing impact on me. I joined this forum (after lurking for quite a while). From this forum, I got turned on to Vedanta (James Swartz, Dayanana, Upanishads, Gita) and that answered my questions and the search ended.

I still love being on this wonderful forum and reading Vedanta type literature.

How was it for you?

lmp
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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by lmp » Sat Nov 08, 2014 8:03 pm

That certainly is a very good question, "is this all there is" and I have not been without it in my life.

I started reading Krishnamurti who was mentioned in a book by Henry Miller. At that time there was no internet (or I didn't have it until eraly nineties) so all I had was a few books and so I advertized to find a few people at least to talk to. On the internet I started listening to many different people eventually. When it comes to Eckhart Tolle I have a friend who reads him to me and then we discuss it.

The other thread I started about conflict, well that is close to my primary question. But your question was in there too, at least the feeling of it came in my late teens.

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Onceler
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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by Onceler » Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:26 am

In my early 20's, probably 21 to be exact, I found Zen Buddhism and it rocked my world. For the next decade I read zen texts and tried to become enlightened. This was my goal in life, although I'm not sure that I knew what it even was....I'm sure I wasnt sure. Gradually I lost sight of this love in my 30s as I became immersed in raising a family. In my mid 40s friends referred me to ET. I read it quizzically, thinking how much it reminded me of zen and my yearnings a decade before. My search was reignited and I read spiritual books again and joined this board. This whole time my life was shot thru with anxiety, dread, depression, neurosis, addictive behavior, narcissistic thinking, well you get the picture. I was not very happy and not great to be around for long stretches. The tension between the misery my life and what I saw as enlightenement was becoming unbearable.

So I quit it all about 4 years ago. I figured I couldn't get much more miserable and in a lot of ways my external life wasn't so bad, so I just quit the spiritual search. In some ways this took away the constant yearning for awakening or something better, so my outlook was marginally improved. About a year into this I happened to sign on to this forum and saw a post about John Sherman from Kiki. Curious, and respecting Kiki's viewpoint, I went to the sight. I did something he recommended called 'looking at yourself, thought it another dumb spiritual deadened and almost immediately forgot about it. Several months later I turned 50 and had a curious desire to start running and get in shape. I did so and began to eat a healthy diet and feel pretty good. That summer I went thru a wrenching experience where I felt like I was a teenager again. The good energy I got from running and diet disappeared and I was a neurotic mess...hardly sleeping, crying, and extremely depressed. I felt like a teenager with my emotions flying all over the place. I also began to experience a viscous anger that would erupt and last for days.

For some reason I returned to Sherman's website in an effort to piece together what had happened to me. I read about the 'recovery' after the looking which described exactly what I was going thru. He explained that the act of looking eradicates the context of fear which forms our thoughts and actions and as it disappears our psychology changes as defenses drop and a new outlook is formed. Sure enough, over the next months my anxiety, depression and fear departed along with many of my bad habits and maladaptive patterns of thinking. Today, I live more in the moment. Emotions are processed fairly quickly. Life is more and more intense and rich. I get caught up in everyday activities and they seem immersive and satisfying. I often have a calm and relaxed sensation in my body that grows more enjoyable as I focus on it. This tends to come in waves. (I'm having such a wave of flow now). This happened very gradually over the last three years, but when I think how miserable I was and how satisfying life is now, I'm amazed. I don't think I'm enlightened, living in bliss or even awakened. I'm just living an extremely satisfying human life without all the drama.

In short, life is sweet and getting sweeter by the day.
Be present, be pleasant.

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rachMiel
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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by rachMiel » Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:04 am

My hunger to get to the essence of things, to get IT, has motivated me pretty much my entire life. It arose, in equal parts, from personal suffering and from burning curiosity. (Emphasis on: burning. ;-) )

My screenplay thus far:

Catholicism -> Krishnamurti -> Toni Packer -> Neo-paganism -> altered states, channeling, past life regression -> Buddhism -> Tolle -> process philosophy -> who c'hell knows?!

A few times along the way I felt I got it. These days I think that to get it is not to get it, that "it" is ... the un-gettable mystery.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by lmp » Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:35 am

Whatever you are Onceler, what you wrote I felt to be very honest, sincere, true even.

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Onceler
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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by Onceler » Sun Nov 09, 2014 4:27 am

Thanks. It's quite true, or as true as anything.
Be present, be pleasant.

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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by karmarider » Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:51 am

lmp wrote:I wonder if you could do a short summary of the essence of your own search..
Self-observation and self-honesty. My motivation was at first suffering, and then a driving intention to know the truth.

I just wrote about this: http://www.beyond-karma.com/awakening/awakening-sutra/

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Onceler
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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by Onceler » Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:55 pm

I can only endorse what Karmarider said. His blog and comments have been immensely helpful to me. I would add that the truth, in my experience, is immensely simple, a distillation of attention and intent that can only be accessed when the obstifications of the mind are set aside. It's found at the end of the rope, laying sweetly beside the pile of garbage you've tossed in your efforts to 'find it'. It a deep inward look, a returning of attention to itself. A touching of you on you. Desperation and drive can propel you there, but the look is so simple a child can do it....and there is the truth of you, a second of attention away.
Be present, be pleasant.

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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by Enlightened2B » Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:49 pm

I agree about Sherman. I checked him out over a year ago and I found it to be very helpful....very similar to Douglas Harding's "Headless".

It's funny because my girlfriend is studying in Mysore (spiritual center of India). She's there because she's trying to figure her life out and she's searching and searching and searching and searching to find herself by doing yoga practice, studying with Indian gurus, yogic philosophy, Upanishads study etc. Not that there is anything wrong with any of that, as I do hatha yoga myself, but self realization/awakening is so simplistic, that none of that is needed and something as simple as John Sherman's looking can even bring. However, each has their own path and people will awaken only when they are ready to awaken.

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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by EternalPrize » Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:41 pm

I'm 29. I was born with a rare genetic condition that has a huge list of terrible symptoms. Due to this illness, I spent most of elementary school in a wheelchair before getting my left foot amputated in sixth grade. Overall, my family was incredibly dysfunctional. This was probably the biggest problem, and I developed a conditioned brain that was very scrambled, insecure, and hurt.

I always felt I didn't count. As if at birth, some sort of guard sized up the insides of each and every soul, and somehow gave approval, or a sort of sad, pity-filled recognition that the soul was simply unfit, gross, and unsatisfactory. I was the latter - this was the most basic, obvious fact of my existence.

After graduating college, I moved 1,000 miles away. After "having it on my list" for three years, I bought the Power of Now. The biggest change in me happened immediately: While prior to the book I was lost and believed that enlightenment, if it were a real thing, was certainly not for this life, now I knew that it was the very purpose of my existence and that I was going to get it in this life and that it was the only thing that would calm the restlessness inside me.

Unfortunately, given how maladapted and confused my conditioning was, my awakening has been and continues to be a synthesis of real-world egoic development and growth, and spiritual development into "what I actually am." In fact, I don't believe the two are even opposite. I wish I didn't need to go through the former as much as I've had to, but I know that awakening requires confrontation with all the difficult experiences life can offer the individuality within us. It's always a double-sided growth in my opinion. As one realizes that one creates the world one lives in, the ego naturally settles and becomes joyful and caring, which further feeds ones ability to rest within that awareness. At least with me, confronting the external world's difficulties plays an important role within this awakening.

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Onceler
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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by Onceler » Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:19 pm

Thanks for your honest and refreshing post, Eternalprize.
Be present, be pleasant.

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Onceler
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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by Onceler » Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:27 pm

Enlightened2B wrote:I agree about Sherman. I checked him out over a year ago and I found it to be very helpful....very similar to Douglas Harding's "Headless".

It's funny because my girlfriend is studying in Mysore (spiritual center of India). She's there because she's trying to figure her life out and she's searching and searching and searching and searching to find herself by doing yoga practice, studying with Indian gurus, yogic philosophy, Upanishads study etc. Not that there is anything wrong with any of that, as I do hatha yoga myself, but self realization/awakening is so simplistic, that none of that is needed and something as simple as John Sherman's looking can even bring. However, each has their own path and people will awaken only when they are ready to awaken.
Yeah, totally, Enlightened2B. It's like we have it backwards. We get lost in the beautiful maze of spiritual attainment first and have to lose and undo everything to find the simplicity, at least I did. We should do it the other way, go straight to our essence,find that which 'cannot be hurt or helped' and undo the fear based patterns, and then explore whatever we find of interest. The dissonance between where we think we are and what we think we want is then gone and we can explore fearlessly from a place of untouchable centeredness. .
Be present, be pleasant.

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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by Enlightened2B » Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:37 pm

Onceler wrote:
Yeah, totally, Enlightened2B. It's like we have it backwards. We get lost in the beautiful maze of spiritual attainment first and have to lose and undo everything to find the simplicity, at least I did. We should do it the other way, go straight to our essence,find that which 'cannot be hurt or helped' and undo the fear based patterns, and then explore whatever we find of interest. The dissonance between where we think we are and what we think we want is then gone and we can explore fearlessly from a place of untouchable centeredness. .
This wasn't my experience, but for many, I agree that it is and your approach can be very helpful which ultimately is Sherman's approach. Grandeur visions of enlightenment (whatever that is) often lead many down endless paths of conceptual searching outside of themselves, hoping to find the answers, when they were the answer all along.

For me, I had read ANE back in 2012 as recommended by a friend. I took a lot out of it, but it didn't really hit me until a year later. It happened suddenly after watching an ET video on anger where he talks about being the space for everything, it just hit me so incredibly hard and it was so, so, so intensely liberating (for about a few hours until ego reared its head again) to see that I was not merely the story of my life, but something much larger. Love is the only word in the english language to describe what I felt. But, once you get that taste, you're there. That's how it was for me. I was just trying to make sense of what I experienced from that point forward and it's been a roller-coaster ride of emotions going up and going down, and all around, a period of nihilism to a more inclusive approach to the human experience of late.

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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by smiileyjen101 » Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:06 am

What has compelled you to spend your time with whatever it is that is the nature of your particular (spiritual) quest.
My Mum was about to watch the 10 o'clock news, she was three weeks overdue to have the baby that was happy just laying in the warm waters of her womb. One labour pain, a sudden rush of water and a baby sliding out in the flow of it just as she managed to get one leg up on the bed.

It's not the light, and it's not the warm waters of the womb. I've been 'checking it out' with wide eyed wonder ever since.

They say the circumstances of your birth are mirrored throughout your life, it's still a bit like that.

I'm happy where I am in awareness, capacity & willingness, and just as happy to move quickly when something catches my attention or propels me headlong into it.

I appreciate that my Mum has a different perspective - not being able to be at her best friend's wedding, carrying an overdue baby that wouldn't budge, the surprise of the incredibly short labour.

I'm aware one of my favourite Aunty's has a different perspective too - she was eagerly anticipating being present at my birth and had 'just nipped to the loo' as my Mum was 'going to get settled for the labour'. By the time she came out I was already there and yelling my hellos to this world. She was both surprised and disappointed.

And what an amazing world it is, especially all the different perspectives of it.
Even from the beginning, I was too 'quick' for my Aunty, and took 'too long' in my Mum's expectations. For me it just is what it is, and I came when I came.

I like the notion of our lives being a 'quest', it's just how it feels, an adventure!!
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen

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