Balancing Life and Isolation Guidance Needed, Please

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Balancing Life and Isolation Guidance Needed, Please

Postby sunshinekate » Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:30 pm

I've been studying Enlightenment (or substitute your own term here), mindfulness and meditation for a few years, but in the past 6-8 months, I've noticed a dramatic shift in my practice. My mind has become more open and I am experiencing small instances of "E" that come and go. I've listened to and read Tolle, Adyashanti, and Lao Tzu among many others but none really outline how to handle awakening in a practical way, especially for someone like me who has been conditioned to see the disillusioned side of reality their whole life. I was raised Catholic because my bible beating grandparents whose mantra was "if you don't go to church, you will go to hell" forced it upon me. By the time I was in college, I was seeking other forms of spiritual practice, but never really quite fit into one category so now I just consider myself a spiritual hybrid. I've had some pretty intense life-altering experiences thrown my way, but I think that has helped open my mind up to new ideas and possibilities which led me to my current pilgrimage of finding inner peace. With that being said, I have found the last half year or so to be extremely rewarding, but also very challenging. My mental clarity has increased and I find myself to be more patient with the problems that I encounter. On the contrary, I still have issues with getting hyped up about my football team losing or a car cutting me off. Sure, those are somewhat trivial issues that may subside with more practice, but I am still unable to quiet my mind all of the time, especially during the demanding work days or being around negative people. I have to work to afford a lifestyle that allows me to create a place where I can meditate and find peace, otherwise my mind would be lost in a fog of how to stay afloat. I have cut many ties with friends and family members because they are all hyper-focused on their egos and negative aspects of life. Being around these types is extremely exhausting for me and my patience with them has dramatically decreased. It seems so easy to distance myself, but I am afraid that I will keep cutting people out until there is nobody left to cut. It is almost like I am creating an isolated world for myself so that I can eliminate the distractions around and just focus. Becoming a monk isn't really an option right now (I don't look good with a shaved head) so how do I find balance without hermiting out and letting the distractions around me subside? Thanks in advance for your words of wisdom!
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Re: Balancing Life and Isolation Guidance Needed, Please

Postby dijmart » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:28 am

I am experiencing small instances of "E" that come and go.


To clarify this statement, if you don't mind.... You are saying you (ego/person) are "exeriencing" awareness (the "real" you), but it comes and goes. This is because the mind has realized awareness/presence reflected in a quiet peaceful mind, you know of it as an object known to you (the person), but awareness can't be objectified and that's why your experience comes and goes.

The ego is claiming it as something "it" knows, but in reality its "awareness" that knows you, sunshinekate. As experience is in time and anything in time changes. Another words, you need Self knowledge, not experience. Although experience can be helpful in self inquiry, if you keep prospective and don't let the ego (the "I" thought) co-opt the experience. Self knowledge is not bound by time, as experience is. When you know "I am awareness" and identify yourself as awareness, the person will still exist, but you won't identify with the person in the same way you use to, because the mind/intellect will know you are actually non dual awareness "associated" for better or worse, with the jiva/person. So, everything for the jiva/person continues as before in the sense that you will still have thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations, but now you see them as appearances "to/in" YOU, awareness. There will still be pleasure and pain, it's easy to get sucked back into the drama of life, but if at the end of the day you know without a shadow of a doubt that you are awareness and not the apparent person you apparently seem to be, then it's all good.


especially for someone like me who has been conditioned to see the disillusioned side of reality their whole life.


We all are conditioned, ignorance is hard wired!!! Self knowledge ends self ignorance. It's a part of the game of hide and seek that awareness is playing with itself.

I am still unable to quiet my mind all of the time, especially during the demanding work days or being around negative people.


Thoughts will continue, the sooner you realize this the better. You are awareness, thoughts appear in/to YOU. They only have power when you identify with them. If a thought doesn't serve you, then negate it, as not Self, they are objects appearing "in/to" you, awareness. They come and go. Here's another tip...you don't control what thoughts you have or don't have, it just feels l like you do. What thought will you be having in one minute? You don't know, because you aren't in control of them.

so how do I find balance without hermiting out and letting the distractions around me subside?


First of all, unless someone is very unhealthy it's not necessary to cut them completely out of your life. Spending time with people will actually help bring out unconscious hidden tendencies in yourself that block you from fully realizing that you are the Self/awareness and seeing from this perspective.

I had to cut my alcoholic, verbally abusive mother out of my life a year ago after many, many warnings that she had crossed my "boundries". So, that's the karma she has to deal with regarding her own abusive behavior. It has nothing to do with me. Other then that I've kept most other relationships intact. They're great learning tools, seriously.

With that being said, it's important or was for me, to spend time alone to do self inquiry. If that's not possible, learn to nod and smile while people are talking (lol) while you are contimplating and reading. I have to do that in my house all the time! :lol:
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Re: Balancing Life and Isolation Guidance Needed, Please

Postby sunshinekate » Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:40 pm

Thank you for the informative response!

Your last words really resonated with me about finding time for self-inquiry. I recently made a life change, allowing myself to do just that, because I see no other way to sort through the thoughts with the constant distractions and negativity. Clearly, that is not a permanent option as I can't isolate myself from the world completely. I do believe, as you said, that being around people will help me come to realize the "self" but I think quieting my mind on my own while focusing on self-reflection needs to be the first step. Fortunately, I am at a very good place where I can take some time to do all of this.
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Re: Balancing Life and Isolation Guidance Needed, Please

Postby dijmart » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:52 pm

Thank you for the informative response!


Your welcome!

To be clear, when I said it's important to spend time alone for self inquiry. I didn't mean go off in a cave somewhere for a few years or anything. I meant just cutting time out of your day, as often as possible, to reflect and inquire.

I do believe, as you said, that being around people will help me come to realize the "self"


This isn't exactly what I said or meant. I said relationships are great learning tools. What I meant was that by interacting with people you will see/recognize your own "hidden" unconcious tendencies and reactions as you awaken. This "seeing" can assist you in gauging your progress or lack there of...and how identified you are or are not, with the jiva/person vs. Awareness, the real you. However, being around people will not help you to realize the "Self" directly, that's why I clarified this point for you.
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Re: Balancing Life and Isolation Guidance Needed, Please

Postby maaref » Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:01 pm

I think you have an idea of what "awareness" should be like. I would recommend to get rid of that idea and always keep an open mind to alter your state to allow yourself to progress. Never make final statements.

Being isolated by itself is not bad. You should at times be isolated and reflect on yourself. But to intentionally isolate yourself for long periods of times would not be the best thing for you. Nor would cutting yourself from society. It is true that we are surrounded with egoistic personalities around us and that may be overwhelming specially at the start. But once your state of mind strengthen, you would be able to be peaceful even if you are around the most egoistic personalities ever.

You need to see the best in people. Do not judge them for what they are. Do not try to change them either. Always see the presence even in their actions. Contribute (without necessary speaking your mind) to do good. See the world from the space of consciousness that you are. Never have an emotional reaction to something. Be conscious to the world. Let all appear in your sphere without judgement, and then do whats best to support your state of mind. Use the mind rather than letting it use you.
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