Realisation and the mind

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Realisation and the mind

Postby Rob X » Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:39 pm

RT, I hope you don't mind but I thought that I'd move this over here since it's a bit of a departure from the original topic.

runstrails wrote:Most western neo-advaita and eastern yogic traditions suggest that enlightenment is a special state to be achieved. And that this state is 'beyond the mind'. This keeps seekers seeking to achieve such a state, and if achieved, then to hold on to it. I should know, I kept looking for special states and special ways to feel.

However, traditional vedanta (Dayanada, Ramana etc) is very clear. Self-realization or self-knowledge is an understanding that happens in the intellect. In fact, a highly refined and discriminative intellect is one of the requirements for vedantic study. One needs to be able to understand the notion of satya (fundamental existence) and mithya (temporary reality). When one gets it, then there is no need for transcendental states. When this understanding is clear---then the intellect primarily identifies with awareness (or fundamental reality) resulting in moksha (or freedom from the trappings of everyday anxieties or suffering).

Given that the fundamental reality of our existence is not separate from our everyday, ordinary awareness, no transcendental states are needed to reach it. It is your nature. All that is needed is an understanding of this.

But I realize that I'm not going to convince any one on a Tolle forum that the intellect is your best ally not your enemy :D.


My only modification to what you write here would be to suggest that realisation happens via the mind (perhaps this is what you mean.) The mind is not the realiser but it's through the mind that it 'occurs'.

To put it simplistically, realisation is Source remembering itself via its play.

Just as delusion (which occurs in the mind) and seeking are Source at play, so is realisation - but, importantly (and some might say, paradoxically), THAT which is realised is not in the play as IT is that which gives rise to (and is the very 'substance' of) the play.

I love this line:

runstrails wrote:Given that the fundamental reality of our existence is not separate from our everyday, ordinary awareness, no transcendental states are needed to reach it. It is your nature. All that is needed is an understanding of this.


It reminds me of the great Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna who said: "Nirvana is Samsara, rightly seen."
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby rachMiel » Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:16 pm

Rob X wrote:I love this line:
runstrails wrote:Given that the fundamental reality of our existence is not separate from our everyday, ordinary awareness, no transcendental states are needed to reach it. It is your nature. All that is needed is an understanding of this.

It reminds me of the great Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna who said: "Nirvana is Samsara, rightly seen."

One big difference, not so much in the message, rather the realization of it:

In Advaita, deep understanding via the mind is enlightenment.

In Buddhism, no matter how deeply the mind understands, it's just part of the story. Full realization requires direct experience that nirvana = samsara, i.e. of emptiness. And that typically takes years/decades of meditation.
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby Sighclone » Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:32 pm

The unconscious intellect can only seek, but never find. from Ramana's "Talks," 6th April, 1937: "Beyond the mind there is the Self. The greatest of things are also conceptions, the conceptions are of the mind; beyond the mind there is the Self. So the Self is subtler than the subtlest." I think only an awakened intellect can identify with the Self. But the awakening does not happen as a result of a refined intellect grinding away. And the experience of awakening is transcendent to any previous condition of the unconscious mind.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby Rob X » Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:42 pm

rachMiel wrote:
Rob X wrote:I love this line:
runstrails wrote:Given that the fundamental reality of our existence is not separate from our everyday, ordinary awareness, no transcendental states are needed to reach it. It is your nature. All that is needed is an understanding of this.

It reminds me of the great Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna who said: "Nirvana is Samsara, rightly seen."

One big difference, not so much in the message, rather the realization of it:

In Advaita, deep understanding via the mind is enlightenment.

In Buddhism, no matter how deeply the mind understands, it's just part of the story. Full realization requires direct experience that nirvana = samsara, i.e. of emptiness. And that typically takes years/decades of meditation.


I'm not sure that the realisations are so different.

I would agree that there is a difference between an intellectual rationalisation and what we might call a felt-sense realisation - but both of these happen via the body-mind.

I disagree that it typically takes years/decades - although in some cases it might. In some Mahayana traditions such as zen, sudden enlightenment is emphasised. And of course, there are those outside of tradition such as ET who's awakening can be said to be sudden.

The 'bedding in', establishing or stabilising of this (what some refer to as liberation) can take years.
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby rachMiel » Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:32 pm

Buddhist practitioners often get flashes of experiential understanding quite quickly. But full liberation, as you say, is generally a very slow process. Unlearning a lifetime, perhaps lifetimes of deeply conditioned habits of mind is crazy hard. And again, unless it's experienced, Buddhism doesn't consider realization to be anywhere near full.

Just for the record, I'm not a Buddhist, but I'm pretty sure what I'm saying here is Buddhistically correct. :-)
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby Fore » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:31 pm

rachMiel wrote:Buddhist practitioners often get flashes of experiential understanding quite quickly. But full liberation, as you say, is generally a very slow process. Unlearning a lifetime, perhaps lifetimes of deeply conditioned habits of mind is crazy hard. And again, unless it's experienced, Buddhism doesn't consider realization to be anywhere near full.

Just for the record, I'm not a Buddhist, but I'm pretty sure what I'm saying here is Buddhistically correct. :-)

I'm not a Buddhist either but the tradition I follow has roots in the Burmese Theravada.
What youve said seems quite correct and is a subject of interest to me. I'm not sure if eckhart would consider himself an arahant, I've found nothing online referring to him as such. Buddhists in general discourage talk of attainment, it's a delicate subject and monks can only declare attainments to fellow monastics.
From discussions here there seems two camps, those who feel we are already enlightened awareness so there is nothing left to really do but be. This seems the advaida camp and then there are those who feel this is simply the beginning and one must work further to break down the habitual egoic tendencies through development (expansion)of awareness. This seems to be the dharma camp. My experience is that I have worked through the heavier egoic tendencies that previously led to deep States of anger and depression, but there is still much greed and aversion remaining, I can be impatient, and desire for current situation to be different. When I have the opportunity to sit longer retreats I feel mind is concentrated enough to observe this egoic habits but balancing family and work responsibilities mind is overly active and it is all I can do to maintain some level of awareness and balance. Retreats are where the serious work is done for me and that work and purification carries over into daily life. I am in this second camp that feels that practice leads to insights and these occur as flashes. But to experience beyond mind and matter is transformative permanently and one needs to progress through the stages of insight for even the first frution stage to be attained. Then one works through the same insights but with a deeper understanding, this further breaks down the egoic habits until the next frution stage is reached. This can be a lifetimes work.
Although I feel the two camps masters are discussing the same final goal I feel it is to easy for the rest of us to not want to put in the serious work or not quite be ready to do the serious work it takes to fully cone out of the habitual egoic process.
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby Rob X » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:37 pm

rachMiel wrote:Buddhist practitioners often get flashes of experiential understanding quite quickly. But full liberation, as you say, is generally a very slow process. Unlearning a lifetime, perhaps lifetimes of deeply conditioned habits of mind is crazy hard. And again, unless it's experienced, Buddhism doesn't consider realization to be anywhere near full.

Just for the record, I'm not a Buddhist, but I'm pretty sure what I'm saying here is Buddhistically correct. :-)


Well I wouldn't want to get into a food fight about who has the most Buddhist knowledge here. :D But run a mile (at least) from anyone who suggests that you must unlearn a lifetime (lifetimes) of deeply conditioned habits of mind in order to deeply realise the true nature of your situation.
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby Fore » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:10 pm

Hi Rob you seem to be misunderstanding the Buddhist theory. To fully break free from the ego even the most subtlest can be a lifetimes work. Realization of ones true nature is simply the first frution stage. Insights are only part of this first stage.
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby Enlightened2B » Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:26 pm

I can attest that without emotional processing, physical health issues will spur on. There's no question about that. However, why not replace the word "work" with something more joyful?

I don't see it as an either/or camp on this forum at least. I do say we ARE enlightened already. This is true for anyone and everyone. Use your own experience. Do you feel complete or incomplete? What you are actually doing with spiritual "work" is simply unraveling all of the BS beliefs you believed yourself to be for so long, simply into realizing what you always are, were all along. It's a process of vulnerability and authenticity. However, we're not here to wipe out our humanness. Then again, whatever you imagine and believe will be true for you.

However, what I am saying above, is not meant in a neo-advaita way. I very strongly advocate deep deep emotional processing in regards to consciously and lovingly digging through limited beliefs. When you start to unravel belief systems, your true authentic self is left over. I very much talk about deep emotional processing (one might call it "work"), but not in the context of reaching a state of enlightenment. This is the mis-interpretation of many spiritual traditions I feel. You are not BECOMING anything more than you already are.....you are simply realizing what you were all along. Meaning, you are not BECOMING enlightened, you are simply realizing that you always were enlightened and perfect as you are when unravel the layers and layers of masks you have worn. Claiming otherwise, is just putting yourself into a greater status of "I'm not good enough until I reach this this and this". It's a lack of self love which is the greatest cause of emotional issues in the first place. I know this first hand.

Folks, you can believe whatever you would like to believe. It's all perfect as it is. I don't associate with any spiritual tradition, because even buddhism while perhaps in its pointing, delving into some great insights as does Vedanta, is STILL a mask or a belief system that limits us. If you think you have to work through multiple life times of work, then you are free to believe that which is the beauty of this reality. I choose NOT to cling to that belief, because it's just another belief.

I'm a human being or I should say a Being.....BEING....human. I love my humanness and that's what we are here for.....expressing that humanness from an authentic place of BEING. We are expressive, creative Beings, each of us unique, who are not here to shun our humanness, but simply wake up and realize the incredible power we truly are at our core and actually LIVE from that place. We experience conditioning, programming and tightly held beliefs as a process of contrast which are tools for us to experience the opposite of those things. That's why physical reality is all about in my own personal opinion.

Dear human, you've got it all wrong. You didn't come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you will return. You came here to learn personal love. Sweaty love, universal love, messy love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of messing up. Often. You didn't come here to be perfect. You already ARE. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then rise again into remembering.


With love to you all.
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby Fore » Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:48 pm

I think advada, buddhism, Christianity, new age, etc.... Are simply platforms of which to propel, when the experience of this mind matter phenomenon is able to be observed those platforms are unnecessary and are not neccessary to return to. To strongly identify with one may be a sign the individual is not ready to leave the platform just yet.
Work does not have to be negative that would be heading in the opposite direction creating more selves. Right effort is a dharmic term that may convey what I meant by work.
It's difficult to describe my retreat experiences they are a combination of moments of creation and moments of untieing the knots. The meditation is becoming subtler, working with egoic aspects of craving, still nothing to cling to although the old habit is to want to cling to this pleasantness.
Enlightened seems to have different meanings, I think Buddhism uses the word in a fully enlightened way although they have 4 stages of enlightenment I believe this is describing the moment of fruition. An arahant is enlightened a sotapanna is not and one would not refer as a sotapanna, but one may be arahant. The Buddha referred as " I am awake" no more knots to untie. Some here use the term enlightened as we are already enlightened/awakened but obviously there are knots of self to untie. This is the lifetimes work untieing all of the knots, not one ounce of egoic self remaining complete freedom from ego.
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby Enlightened2B » Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:22 pm

Another important factor is that we are all here for different purposes and what aligns with one person will not align for another person. Some people have zero interest in a spiritual path and this has no bearing on that person or I should say on that BEING as they already are, which is still perfect already. They might not just realize it in the same context that someone who spends years meditating might realize their own perfection. Both paths are perfect as they are. It's all an exploration of the same Source or God or whatever you want to call it (All That Is) and we are each expressing that same divinity through a unique avenue. Otherwise, we'd all be robots :D

I still think the root of it is to live life from a place of joy whichever way that is for you, from your core authenticity within all of us that brings joy to our lives and happiness, and which ever way gets you there is totally perfect and irrelevant, but as long as you GET there and align with that place, align with that vibration of who and what you truly are is all that matters, because after this life is done, none of it is going to matter. The only thing that will matter is how you lived and how much you actually loved, not only others, but yourself especially.

There is no goal, but only a journey and yet there is no journey, but only experience. And you will know when you are not in alignment or when there is still massive resistance in your life that is showing up in order to be integrated. It happens to all of us.

Just my own thoughts. Thanks Fore and others for the contributions.
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby Fore » Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:34 am

Enlightened2B wrote:
There is no goal, but only a journey and yet there is no journey, but only experience. And you will know when you are not in alignment or when there is still massive resistance in your life that is showing up in order to be integrated. It happens to all of us.


This is where we differ in opinions, and I feel where you miss the mark. The practice for me is developing awareness as we do not always know when there is massive resistance let alone subtle resistance. The practice in my experience has been about maintaining awareness of the arising and passing of resistance as experienced as bodily sensation. How many times do we get upset only to catch this after some period of time. How much of our lives do we waste in resistance unaware even though at the absolute we are this perfected awareness. So there is a goal, and that is to awaken to every moment. We don't need to wait for a massive wave of resistance to crash upon us in order to become aware. Practicing awareness and balance one will awaken to the subtlest forms of resistance and cut the process of creation of new resistance, this practice will train the mind a healthier habit of non creation. You can still live life and play and build stuff but in much less redistance and in greater health.
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby Enlightened2B » Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:12 am

Fore wrote:
Enlightened2B wrote:
There is no goal, but only a journey and yet there is no journey, but only experience. And you will know when you are not in alignment or when there is still massive resistance in your life that is showing up in order to be integrated. It happens to all of us.


This is where we differ in opinions, and I feel where you miss the mark. The practice for me is developing awareness as we do not always know when there is massive resistance let alone subtle resistance. The practice in my experience has been about maintaining awareness of the arising and passing of resistance as experienced as bodily sensation. How many times do we get upset only to catch this after some period of time. How much of our lives do we waste in resistance unaware even though at the absolute we are this perfected awareness. So there is a goal, and that is to awaken to every moment. We don't need to wait for a massive wave of resistance to crash upon us in order to become aware. Practicing awareness and balance one will awaken to the subtlest forms of resistance and cut the process of creation of new resistance, this practice will train the mind a healthier habit of non creation. You can still live life and play and build stuff but in much less redistance and in greater health.


A practice of developing awareness as you put it, is perfectly well and commendable for sure and I have my own practice, but unless you are a robot, you are STILL going to encounter some level of resistance at some point in your life. We're all human beings :D

And when I say there is no goal, of course that doesn't mean in a relative context, you don't have goals. Of course you do! We all do. Even with spiritual practice, there is always a goal. There is a goal behind everything we say or do, or we would not do it.

Yet, I meant, in the larger context, life is just an array of experiences from birth until death. There IS not an ultimate goal of the life itself objectively speaking until we decide to provide ourselves with a goal, nor is there any inherent meaning to any of these experiences....UNTIL.....we give it meaning once again. And giving life meaning is perfectly wonderful as well and once again....commendable and a big reason we choose to explore here!

We each provide a different meaning to life that suits us as far as what we choose to explore. For some of us that might mean very strict spiritual practice and for others, that might mean exploring music or art or another aspect of human life and no interest at all in spiritual practice. We are all here just exploring different things. The meaning YOU apply to life and the goals YOU apply to life are perfect as they are, as are the meanings I apply and the goals I apply, but my goals and meanings don't apply to someone's else's necessarily. Meaning (no pun intended), you can give meaning to anything in your life as can I, but those meanings only go so far as the beliefs we hold up ABOUT those meanings and values we apply to those meanings.
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby runstrails » Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:19 am

Rob X wrote:
My only modification to what you write here would be to suggest that realisation happens via the mind (perhaps this is what you mean.) The mind is not the realiser but it's through the mind that it 'occurs'.

To put it simplistically, realisation is Source remembering itself via its play.

Just as delusion (which occurs in the mind) and seeking are Source at play, so is realisation - but, importantly (and some might say, paradoxically), THAT which is realised is not in the play as IT is that which gives rise to (and is the very 'substance' of) the play.


Nicely stated, RobX. You can actually say the mind realizes or realization happens via the mind--either way is fine if there is the understanding that reality is non-dual. The intellect is only a tool (albeit a highly valuable one) that allows ignorance to be dispelled.

Andy said: The unconscious intellect can only seek, but never find. .


I agree. The unconscious intellect needs a proper teacher and a proper teaching to understand it's true nature. Even after Ramana had his experience, he went back to the teachings of Vedanta to make sense of it. Luckily he had that cultural framework in India so he could put his experience in context.

from Ramana's "Talks," 6th April, 1937: "Beyond the mind there is the Self. The greatest of things are also conceptions, the conceptions are of the mind; beyond the mind there is the Self. So the Self is subtler than the subtlest.


Yup, the realized mind understands that the self is more subtle than everything (including the mind). The self is the substrate of everything. But the realized mind also 'gets' that the self is non-dual and therefore, the self of the person is ultimately not different from the self of the world (atma=brahman). That is why awareness is referred to as 'self' in Vedanta.

Andy said: I think only an awakened intellect can identify with the Self. But the awakening does not happen as a result of a refined intellect grinding away. And the experience of awakening is transcendent to any previous condition of the unconscious mind"

I agree that only an awakened intellect can identify with the self. However, a proper teaching and teacher is required for awakening and not necessarily transcendental experiences. They can certainly be helpful to realize there is more than the material world---but an understanding of what they actual mean is needed or the person will keep seeking more experiences.
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby runstrails » Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:48 am

Fore wrote: Realization of ones true nature is simply the first frution stage. Insights are only part of this first stage.


This is a good point.

In the old day, students of Vedanta were first asked to develop qualifications such as dedication, discrimination, dispassion, karma yoga, bhakti etc.. and so when they achieved self-realization, those practices were already in place to deal with the unwieldy mind were already in place.

These days, self realization can come first, and may not necessarily mean moksha (freedom from suffering). The conditioning and old egoic tendencies can still be very strong.

Luckily, traditional vedanta provides the entire cosmology of awakening. Not only do you realize that you are the self (awareness). But you also understand the energies and the mind states (rajas, sattva and tamas) and how they work and how to balance them for a peaceful mind. Actually, it's kind of interesting--since it gives you something to do once the seeking is over!

Balancing the gunas to achieve a peaceful (sattvic) mind is a great way to occupy oneself in whatever one is doing in life. Following dharma, as you say, is essential to achieving a peaceful mind. And a peaceful mind is a great way to enjoy the bliss of self-realization.

And this feeling of moksha (freedom from suffering) can happen every day, again and again, even in the midst of the most trying circumstances, when the mind is focused on its true nature. When the focus is lost, then there can be suffering. But then the thought arises, "I am the self" and moksha is available again :D.
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