Your summary of your search

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karmarider
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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by karmarider » Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:03 am

Onceler wrote:... 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.
Well said. Particularly this: A touching of you on you.

It is simple, but it is simple only to people who actually look.

I am involved with a group of about ten people who talk about awakening. Out of the ten only one is looking. The rest keep talking about what awakening is and isn't. And two are actively putting up misleading barriers.

That's the way it goes. The ego is a tough nut to crack.

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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by karmarider » Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:10 am

EternalPrize wrote: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.

Thanks for your open-heartedness, EternalPrize.

I agree with you about confronting the external world's difficulties. Whereas some spritual traditions seem to suggest a withdrawal from human life, I lfeel it is the embracing of the confusion, frailty and difficulty of human life with other human beings which can be the greatest opportunity to awaken.

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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by runstrails » Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:22 am

EP wrote: awakening requires confrontation with all the difficult experiences life can offer the individuality within us.
Lovely post, Eternal Prize. Thanks and totally agreed.

kafi
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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by kafi » Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:39 pm

lmp,

thanks for starting this thread.
My motivations for the search were:
First, the search for inner peace ( triggered by a period of overwhelm).
Later, the search for truth .

I agree with the others that John Sherman's method of looking back at who is looking is the most useful meditation.
I came upon it by reading the book " The Most Direct Means to Eternal Bliss" by Michael Langford ( - here it is called Awareness Watching Awareness Method) .
Later I have heard that it is a Dzogchen method.

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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by Enlightened2B » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:02 pm

kafi wrote:lmp,

thanks for starting this thread.
My motivations for the search were:
First, the search for inner peace ( triggered by a period of overwhelm).
Later, the search for truth .

I agree with the others that John Sherman's method of looking back at who is looking is the most useful meditation.
I came upon it by reading the book " The Most Direct Means to Eternal Bliss" by Michael Langford ( - here it is called Awareness Watching Awareness Method) .
Later I have heard that it is a Dzogchen method.
I like the basic premise in the online book 'Awareness watching Awareness' as well. Granted, I don't like some of the 'spiritual dogma' the book brings. But, I think the basic premise which gets people to look at 'what's looking' is pretty good. Very similar again to Douglas Harding and John Sherman.

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smiileyjen101
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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by smiileyjen101 » Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:56 pm

Karmarider said:
It is simple, but it is simple only to people who actually look.
heartfelt

This reminds me of an old B movie about a man's quest to find the secret of life, going through all of his adventures in search of himself and life, pushing it all away in his 'quest', his impatience, his worry he'd never 'find it'. At the end of his journey on top of a mountain he found The Book of Life.

On opening it there was a mirror, the pages filled with his adventures, the last page also a mirror.

We are our lives, we are our awareness, our capacity, our willingness.

If only we are willing to see that.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen

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KathleenBrugger
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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by KathleenBrugger » Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:33 am

Thanks imp for starting this thread. Some wonderful posts. What an incredible story about your birth jen! I love your framing of the story--Auntie said too soon, Mom said too late, and Jen said just right. Sounds like Goldilocks and the Three Bears!

My journey started as a search for truth. By the time I turned 21 I realized I had been lied to by a lot of people. My parent's marriage had fallen apart, and so much of what I thought had been real in our family was shown to be false. i went to the Soviet Union and realized that much of what my society had told me was false. When I met my future husband, Arthur, he was into est. Once I was at his apartment and heard him read a statement of purpose for one of the est events and I felt like I had never heard anything stated so clearly and effectively; it was like it was a pure communication. So I did the set training, and for me it was about recognizing that we make up a story about life and then we go through life thinking it's the truth and not a story. Arthur and I embarked on a path of truth-telling, which meant for years we spent hours delving into the thought-patterns underlying our stories, seeing where the thread lead. Eventually I realized that there was ego mixed in with this and the "truth" could do a lot of damage. But out of this process came our first book, The Game of God, which 20 years later still rings true to me about the what and why of the universe.

I also started realizing that this path was very intellectual, and didn't have much heart. Toward the end of the 1990s, I was living outside of a small town in the western North Carolina mountains. I spent a lot of time alone in the woods, which is a very contemplative space for me, and I read a lot of spiritual books, especially Alan Watts. Out of this came the path that I'm on now, which I call GLACHH: gratitude, love, acceptance, compassion, humility, and honesty. Acceptance came first. Learning to "bend like a willow" which is a concept that I took from one of Alan Watts books. As I learned to bend and flow with what is, the other elements of my path naturally became a part.

My husband Arthur is a songwriter, and he's got a YouTube channel with all of his songs (73) on it. Many of them relate to spirituality and non-duality. And some of them relate to the story of my search.

Gotta Get Myself Off of My Back is a lot about being in the Now, and Arthur wrote this after he met me, probably in about 1982. At the time I thought it wasn't "spiritual" like many of the other songs he'd written by that time, but I can see that what I was bringing to his music, even that long ago, was the idea of the Now being all there is.

Arthur turned my Bend Like a Willow idea into a song.
We are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity
http://kathleenbrugger.blogspot.com/

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Onceler
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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by Onceler » Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:07 am

Beautiful, Kathleen, your prose style reflects calm energy and confidence.

I would also like to make a caveat emptor for John Sherman. If you are heavily invested in the spiritual search and its accouterments his style and message will pi** you off. Its more bare bones than a whistling Zen staff on impact. There is no magical thinking here or, really, any thinking or dogma. Just looking at you and the world around you (which just might be you).
Be present, be pleasant.

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KathleenBrugger
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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by KathleenBrugger » Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:16 pm

Onceler wrote:Beautiful, Kathleen, your prose style reflects calm energy and confidence.

I would also like to make a caveat emptor for John Sherman. If you are heavily invested in the spiritual search and its accouterments his style and message will pi** you off. Its more bare bones than a whistling Zen staff on impact. There is no magical thinking here or, really, any thinking or dogma. Just looking at you and the world around you (which just might be you).
Thanks Onceler, although I'm not so sure about the confidence! I like that image of the whistling Zen staff. :lol:
We are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity
http://kathleenbrugger.blogspot.com/

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smiileyjen101
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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by smiileyjen101 » Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:51 pm

Kathleen said: What an incredible story about your birth jen! I love your framing of the story--Auntie said too soon, Mom said too late, and Jen said just right. Sounds like Goldilocks and the Three Bears!
:lol:
You have no idea how tickle-gorgeous that is Kathleen!!
The other 'surprise' to everyone was the 'fact' that I came out with flaming curly red locks ..... (when my older brother & sister were both brilliant blondes) hmmm... if we go back to the 'circumstances of your birth' being formative - it made me appear distinctly 'different' from my siblings :wink:

Time is like that though isn't it, even in that little tale the perspectives distort the focus and the playing out.... yum.

I still think of all of my life as an adventure, sometimes it speeds up and stuff happens so fast & furiously like you're caught in a storm in the sea being washed and dumped and thrown and raised into the air to just take a breath, then like the ocean tide ebbing I get a chance to catch my breath before the next waves of activity and experience wash over me.

The time thing also became acutely 'real' while I was spending every possible moment with my infant son on his borrowed time in life. The moments of agony and joy were acutely full, a minute like an hour, an hour like a day, a day a week, a week a month, a month a lifetime - literally in his case. I can never again take a moment, any moment, for granted - nor can I bemoan the too much or too little of anything in life. We truly do only have this moment to LIVE.

If he had recovered, the weeks would have been too long, as he didn't, I could have framed it as too soon, it took gob-smacking honesty and courage and awareness to sit with it, be in it and not wish it any other way.

It has been one of the greatest lessons of my life, and one that I've been immensely grateful for ever since.

Funny, it seems the experience of our birth may be 'relevant'.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen

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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by ashley72 » Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:34 am

lmp wrote: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.
I found Eckhart Tolle because I was suffering generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) and I was suffering from intrusive and unwanted thinking patterns. What I didn't realise at the time was the intrusive and unwanted thinking patterns are the OUTPUT signal of perceiving the world generally as DANGEROUS (the INPUT signal).

Our cognitive and nervous system is basically a closed system of cause and effect. This means that the INPUT (perception) and OUTPUT (focussed thoughts) can exhibit both positive and negative feedback loops.

Because I was suffering from GAD... I was naturally drawn to PON and being in the present moment. I didn't like the fact my mind was being bombarded with lots of intrusive and unwanted thinking patterns and was looking for ways to stop these intrusive thought patterns.

PON seem to offer a solution at first.... but after much dedicated research the answer came from somewhere else. => http://www.anxietycoach.com

Basically this website discusses the anxiety trick, where GAD sufferers get in to treating the OUTPUT SIGNAL (anxious thoughts) as Dangerous (which is the INPUT SIGNAL). This is akin to treating danger as danger... a positive "closed" feedback loop.

All the spiritual Mumbo Jumbo is a waste of time.... including empty concepts about Universal Consciousness etc.

Our nervous system is a complex system... and as such is better explained by Complex System Theory rather than Spiritual Mumbo Jumbo!

kafi
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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by kafi » Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:12 pm

Ashley,
thanks for sharing about the anxiety disorder.
That is very helpful for me at the moment.
I find that the spiritual path at a certain point requires to let go of fear. At the moment, I feel that I am pushed to do exactly that : putting myself into situations that elicit fear - only to find out that I did survive them and that they are not really dangerous.

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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by Phil2 » Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:03 pm

ashley72 wrote: PON seem to offer a solution at first.... but after much dedicated research the answer came from somewhere else. => http://www.anxietycoach.com

...

All the spiritual Mumbo Jumbo is a waste of time.... including empty concepts about Universal Consciousness etc.

Our nervous system is a complex system... and as such is better explained by Complex System Theory rather than Spiritual Mumbo Jumbo!
Hello Ashley,

If I understand what you said above, Eckhart Tolle's teachings are useless spiritual Mumbo Jumbo ...

... and you come here to warn the forum participants not to fall in this trap ?

??

Such a compassion really moves me Ashley ...

:lol:
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)

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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by Phil2 » Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:24 pm

kafi wrote: I find that the spiritual path at a certain point requires to let go of fear. At the moment, I feel that I am pushed to do exactly that : putting myself into situations that elicit fear - only to find out that I did survive them and that they are not really dangerous.
Hello Kafi,

I don't see spirituality as an 'avoidance' of fear, but rather a means which allows you to SEE your fears more clearly for what they are, to become more aware of their roots ... and from there realize their futility and inability to hurt you fundamentally ... because in fact there is nothing to be hurt ...

Most people indeed try to escape their fears by all means like distractions, entertainment, activities of all kinds, addictions, obsessions, violence etc ... therefore fears are 'repressed' (or 'suppressed') ... but they continue to haunt us and manifest as all kinds of disorders (neurosis anxiety, depression, addictions etc ...).

The unconscious must be made conscious ...

I read once that Tibetan Buddhist monks are educated to face their fears by having to spend some nights left alone in cemeteries, where the place is supposed to be haunted by the ghosts of the deads and demons ... it is part of their spiritual education ... same for the 'initiation ordeals' practiced by most primitive cultures in order to test the force of a young man in overcoming his own fears ...
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)

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Re: Your summary of your search

Post by Enlightened2B » Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:59 pm

Phil2 wrote: Hello Kafi,

I don't see spirituality as an 'avoidance' of fear, but rather a means which allows you to SEE your fears more clearly for what they are, to become more aware of their roots ... and from there realize their futility and inability to hurt you fundamentally ... because in fact there is nothing to be hurt ...

Most people indeed try to escape their fears by all means like distractions, entertainment, activities of all kinds, addictions, obsessions, violence etc ... therefore fears are 'repressed' (or 'suppressed') ... but they continue to haunt us and manifest as all kinds of disorders (neurosis anxiety, depression, addictions etc ...).

The unconscious must be made conscious ...

I read once that Tibetan Buddhist monks are educated to face their fears by having to spend some nights left alone in cemeteries, where the place is supposed to be haunted by the ghosts of the deads and demons ... it is part of their spiritual education ... same for the 'initiation ordeals' practiced by most primitive cultures in order to test the force of a young man in overcoming his own fears ...
It's funny that as much as I can disagree with someone on other posts, I agree that much more here on this one. Good stuff Phil.

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