Vedanta Study at a Distance

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Vedanta Study at a Distance

Postby tjansen » Sat Jun 04, 2016 1:05 pm

Hello, I am new to this forum. I would like to know people's experience with methods of studying Vedanta, especially if you feel that it is moving you toward your goal, which for me would be to become solidly ensconced in the knowledge of reality, which I have heard called liberation or (obviously?) Enlightenment.

One avenue I ran across is a home study course by email from Chinmayananda Mission. I wonder if anyone on this forum has used this approach and what the result was.

I am currently studying video programs by James Swartz that 'unfold' the teaching. I correspond by email with one of his proteges when I have questions about what I viewed. It seems to be a good introduction to the subject. dijmart's mention of James's website (on a different forum?) is what brought me to this forum.

I also use The Light of Pure Knowing CD set by Rupert Spira for doing guided meditation, which he recommends for people who know reality (I can't say that I fit that category), but whose bodies, feelings, etc. haven't been "colonized" with the understanding. I also have attended a couple of his webinars, one of which is coming up on June 4.

In all of this, I am looking for a 'program' to follow. Being a veteran of AA, I like to do step 1, step 2, ..........step 12, and boom you are there. I really enjoy Rupert's teaching, and continued searching for something else because I didn't detect a programmed approach from him.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Re: Vedanta Study at a Distance

Postby runstrails » Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:33 am

Hi Tjansen,
Welcome to the forum. ENjoy your time here. Regarding the Chinamayananda home study course---you might have more luck posting about it on the Forum at the Shining Word website (James Swartz' website). rt
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Re: Vedanta Study at a Distance

Postby dijmart » Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:45 pm

Hi there,

I havent been on this forum for a bit and it's funny that the second post I read mentions me or the "apparent" me, lol. Anywho, I don't post on any other forums. So, perhaps you saw one of my posts from here on another topic. Once led to Vedanta, i knew it was what was needed, but im still processing, self realized, but not assimilated, but that's ok these things take time.
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Re: Vedanta Study at a Distance

Postby tjansen » Sat Jun 18, 2016 1:49 am

dijmart wrote:Hi there,

I havent been on this forum for a bit and it's funny that the second post I read mentions me or the "apparent" me, lol. Anywho, I don't post on any other forums. So, perhaps you saw one of my posts from here on another topic. Once led to Vedanta, i knew it was what was needed, but im still processing, self realized, but not assimilated, but that's ok these things take time.


Thanks for the reply. I too, with some guidance, have settled into Vedanta and feel very comfortable with it. I have just ordered the CD PDF version of Gita Home Study Course and look forward to ruminating on that for a while, along with watching videos of James Swartz, accompanied by texts from Nevernotpresent.com. I have dropped Rupert's CDs for now.
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Re: Vedanta Study at a Distance

Postby dijmart » Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:36 am

Good luck with it all :D
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Re: Vedanta Study at a Distance

Postby dijmart » Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:21 pm

Tjansen,
How are things coming along for you? Are you on the Vedanta bus still?
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Re: Vedanta Study at a Distance

Postby tjansen » Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:16 am

Hello dijmart,

Yes, still on the bus. I am just about finished viewing Panchadasi Tiru 2015 by James Swartz, which is Vedanta. I decided at one point to drop that effort because of some annoyances, but I didn't find anyone / anything to replace him. I also listen to one of Rupert's CDs occasionally and fairly regularly.

I am experiencing some results which are encouraging. One is a direct result from discriminating / Inquiry. Yesterday I was depressed about my situation and about the prospects of awakening and realizing. I just reminded myself that it wasn't I wasn't the one experiencing the gloom. I got back in focus, and the mood lifted pretty readily,

Also, more indirect results, a couple of times I have awakened before my 5:00 am alarm with a total (I guess) sense of calm, carefreeness, agendalessness. What I might conjecture Enlightenment to feel like.

I also bought a recent book by Michael Langford, Manomasa(sp?). It is still on its way here (Thailand). I also started reading Happiness Beyond Thought by Gary Weber. So, my search is still on, but I feel like I am on the right trail.

How about you?

Tom
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Re: Vedanta Study at a Distance

Postby dijmart » Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:16 pm

Try not to get discouraged, ignorance is hard wired as they say and it takes time for the intellect to understand and assimilate the teachings. Once awareness is reflected in the satvic mind which acts like a mirror, your intellect will recognize this as your true nature or it will if you are properly taught to recognize it.

This may only be a glimpse at first and may not "last", but keep going with the teachings, regardless of which guna seems to be predominant. Self knowledge does the work to remove ignorance, not the jiva/person. Although it does take effort and perserverence on your part to contimplate the teachings and perform self inquiry. All doubts have to be removed before you can rest in yourself as awareness.

This doesn't mean the person/jiva dissappears or even changes that much, you just know you aren't it, you are awareness associated with it. Of course the Jiva is you (awareness), as awareness is the substratum/background to all that manifests, but you (pure awareness) are not it.

Now if your not qualified none of this will make any sense, so you have to do karma yoga, ect to get qualified and make your mind more satvic. But I will say, I didn't do much karma yoga and I still have some habits I wish I didn't have and I still understood the teachings, but it takes time.

However, I've been at this self inquiry thang for about 6 years before coming across Vedanta this year and had several samadhi's where I knew that I wasn't this person in an ultimate sense. So, a slow chipping away at the hard wired ignorance is what is necessary for most people. Plus, I've read many books by many teachers, but nothing is like being taught from start to finish about the cosmology of what's going on here and what you can do about it.

Neo advaita doesnt explain how to get out of samsara and will keep you going in circles for a lifetime...I did that for 6 years. It must have helped get me prepared for Vedanta, so in that regard I'm grateful, but after awhile it was like spinning my heels.

You say you think enlightenment is calmness, carefreeness, agendalessness...this doesn't have to be the case. The jiva is going to act and do just as it did before, accept now you know through the intellect that you are awareness and not the apparent person you "seem" to be. So, you have a bit of distance from the person and it's doing and acting. You make the best decisions, that are dharmic and leave the rest to Ishvara. Your jiva is part of Ishvara and has to make choices, but your also programmed by Ishvara. So those choices feel like free will, but are basically predetermined. Free will=predetermination. However, you (awareness) are free of it all.

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Re: Vedanta Study at a Distance

Postby tjansen » Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:52 pm

tjansen wrote:Hello dijmart,

Yes, still on the bus. I am just about finished viewing Panchadasi Tiru 2015 by James Swartz, which is Vedanta. I decided at one point to drop that effort because of some annoyances, but I didn't find anyone / anything to replace him. I also listen to one of Rupert's CDs occasionally and fairly regularly.

I am experiencing some results which are encouraging. One is a direct result from discriminating / Inquiry. Yesterday I was depressed about my situation and about the prospects of awakening and realizing. I just reminded myself that it wasn't I wasn't the one experiencing the gloom. I got back in focus, and the mood lifted pretty readily,

Also, more indirect results, a couple of times I have awakened before my 5:00 am alarm with a total (I guess) sense of calm, carefreeness, agendalessness. What I might conjecture Enlightenment to feel like.

I also bought a recent book by Michael Langford, Manomasa(sp?). It is still on its way here (Thailand). I also started reading Happiness Beyond Thought by Gary Weber. So, my search is still on, but I feel like I am on the right trail.

How about you?

Tom


Thanks for your helpful encouragement and other comments. You help me think that I am going in the right direction. James Swartz, I think quoting Ramana, says to get on the Vedanta bus, put your luggage down, and let the bus take you there. Just keep working.
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Re: Vedanta Study at a Distance

Postby dijmart » Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:28 pm

Yes, keep working at it! Clear the doubts that you can't resolve on your own (through reading the satsangs, ect.) by emailing one of the shingingworld.com teachers. I didn't want to do this in the beginning, because I didn't want to bother them. However, that's what they're there for and I was glad when i finally did.

Also, when I first went to the website and read a few satsangs on there I knew Vedanta was for me. Perhaps it's not for everyone, but I haven't strayed from it once found.

Ted Schmidt (one of the shiningworld teachers) now has videos on youtube as well. He did his own Satsang teaching with a group and it was taped, if you're interested.

Keep in touch. You can pm me if you like.

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Re: Vedanta Study at a Distance

Postby tjansen » Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:04 am

dijmart wrote:Yes, keep working at it! Clear the doubts that you can't resolve on your own (through reading the satsangs, ect.) by emailing one of the shingingworld.com teachers. I didn't want to do this in the beginning, because I didn't want to bother them. However, that's what they're there for and I was glad when i finally did.

Also, when I first went to the website and read a few satsangs on there I knew Vedanta was for me. Perhaps it's not for everyone, but I haven't strayed from it once found.

Ted Schmidt (one of the shiningworld teachers) now has videos on youtube as well. He did his own Satsang teaching with a group and it was taped, if you're interested.

Keep in touch. You can pm me if you like.

Diana

I have been emailing Ted as well with questions, but I haven't seen any of his Youtubes yet. I'll take a look. Thanks.
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Re: Vedanta Study at a Distance

Postby dijmart » Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:20 am

Ted is very clear, I find, also thorough with his explainations. He's cleared up several of my major questions.
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Re: Vedanta Study at a Distance

Postby Enlightened2B » Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:20 pm

I emailed with Ted for a while back in 2013 when I was really exploring Vedanta. Really cool, nice man. If you want to understand Vedanta, he's the go to guy, more so than James I would say (I emailed with both for a while). Although Dennis Waite (spelling?) is also very clear in his own writings as well.
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Re: Vedanta Study at a Distance

Postby dijmart » Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:37 pm

Hi EN2B,

I think James is more clear when he's talking in person, then his written Satsangs or that's my experience. Ted is very clear in his writings, for sure! I didn't watch enough of his new youtube satsangs to gather if he's as clear in person.
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Re: Vedanta Study at a Distance

Postby tjansen » Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:27 pm

I don't know how to select which posts I want to quote, but I am replying right now to Enlightened2B and dijmart.

The comments from both of you have really helped me a lot, mainly by confirming that this is a good course to follow (Vedanta with James and Ted).

I am just learning to apply discrimination to my ongoing life. I believe I got a good jump on karma yoga by really getting serious with working the Tenth Step of AA with a really good sponsor about 2-3 years ago. It really helped quiet my anger, jealousy, and somewhat my fear. When I read / heard about karma yoga from James / Bhagavad Gita, it was very similar to the practice of Step Ten, at least for me.

I am really beginning to love Vedanta's results. In the last three days I have had two occasions when inquiry / discrimination saved my emotional ass. I am also very much enjoying the more and more regular early morning awakenings into a state of some level of carefree bliss. Right now my task is to keep going as well as reminding myself that, just like I am not the one experiencing fear and depression when that occurs, I also am not the one experiencing the relief of same or the morning bliss party.

I think I am, however, beginning to get the connection about experiencing the reflection of Awareness in a calm(ed) mind.

Backing up a little, I ordered Ted's book, Self-Knowledge, about a month before it came out. I enjoy his writing style as well as his clarity and organization.

Has anyone listened to Rupert Spira's Light of Pure Knowing guided meditation CDs. I hooked onto them maybe a year ago and found them useful and enjoyable to listen to for the purpose of, in his description, colonizing our body with the knowledge of Advaita Vedanta. In my enthusiasm, I bought four more sets for friends and family. I still haven't learned that everyone else is not necessarily going to be thrilled with my agenda.

Thanks for your encouragement and very helpful comments along the way.

By the way, I also bought a couple of Dennis Waite's books which I enjoyed reading. I even bought his science fiction book, which was fun to read. I bought his book Advaita Made Easy, and really liked it on the first read. I went back to it, thinking I might have it translated into Thai in case any of my Thai friends seem open to Vedanta. But when I re-read it, it didn't grab me as being a clear introduction. He did state at the end of that book that if one is interested in the topic, they should read further. He recommended James' How to Attain Enlightenment, which I had read, and he also recommended his own book, which I bought. I forget which one it was.

I'd better stop. When my girlfriend happens to glance over my shoulder and sees the length of my typical email, she says, "They are never going to read all of that."
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