Awakening

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Re: Awakening

Postby unbornawakened » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:31 am

Andy,

You made an interesting point, but I wonder if this applies to ET himself. ET has said that those who have a heavy pain body are more likely to awaken - not that all or most do - presumably because when the pain builds up to an intolerable level they are more ready to let go. Was ET himself someone with a healthy ego before his awakening ? I doubt it.

Can you elaborate a bit more ?
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Re: Awakening

Postby tenderboy » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:36 am

Sighclone wrote:
But not greater than others, right? And its not really satisfying to think something like that, if you can't feel it and believe it really to be.


Absolutely not greater than others. It is the comparing and striving for superiority that is the hallmark of ego-driven behavior and thought patterns. If "really satisfying" requires you to feel superior, and believe yourself to be superior, then you are going to have to work much harder to get there. And when you do, be sure to check in with yourself and see if you are happy. And if you are, you will have to get back on the horse to stay "happy" because the next rival, the next challenge is right around the corner. Lots of people live lives like that. Thoreau called them lives of "quiet desperation." One of Eckhart's main points is that those are lives based on an illusion. Those lives are the product of believing in a "false self," of unconsciously identifying with your mind and its stories.
[...]


You know it nearly never happened, that I could accept such little deaths of my ego. If someone says to me: "You are a bad person" than I got emotionally overwhelmed very fast. I take it instantly personally and you know all wise knowledge (^^) ends in smoke. it was empty, only simulation of my ego.And heres something amazing: Do you remind that I did the Work last day? Yes, and now it happened with another thought: "The others are putting those obstacles into my life which make it impossible for me to get enlightened" - Haha :D LOL @ my Ego^^ It is self-hate.

Sighclone wrote:But he does not say it is easy to escape. The neo-Advaitists do that. And they are wrong, in my opinion. My point in the earlier post was that to the extent you are a person (who is pretty much identified with egoic identity as self) you are a great person. I say that because one of the paradoxes of awakening is that you have to have a pretty healthy ego to dump it! There are many people who have psychological challenges that keep them spinning in circles, chasing their tail, grinding down complex thought-driven bunny trails, behaving badly, etc. who stumble across Eckhart and hope for release from years of deep conditioning by just being present. Usually those people actually need some cognitive counseling for personality issues before the deeper process of deconstructing the whole ego can take place.

Andy


I think you've got me here. For example I read yesterday in Eckhart Tolles Book "The Power of Now" that if you can't escape from Ego, its better to do something than to do nothing. I think that is your point. If Ego, than don't suppress it and pretend to don't have it. That is where I am completely failing. And its a point where I don't feel like that I would be able to get over this obstacle alone. It makes me afraid to think, that I might have chosen a way, that keeps me longer in a prison of pian than I prefer.

Do you know what makes me really perplex every time again? That some part of me seemed to know already just from the beginning, when I decided to go a way, how this way would end. To be more clear: When I decided to go the way of enlightenment, some part of me knew ABSOLUTELY (a intelligence that has nothing to do with thought), that what I started to do, would never make me feel myself more. I knew deep inside there, that it just was, what it was: the keeping of the structure of identification. And do you know what is really, reallly really really absorbing? That I knew ever completely how to get free of false identity. I never needed more to find myself. But what was it then? It was just delaying.... Just like I am delaying the point where I get in closer contact with female energy, I am delaying in a much stronger way to let the awakening happen. Just like a kid delays everything he is afraid of I am delaying everything I am afraid of. So what I actually want to say with these words is that it seems that I didn't won much through all what happened. The Conclusion in my ego-head: "Ok, then it all might happened, who cares? I still won't let that happen, whatever suffering may arise!" Theres so much self-decption inside me, I am saying to you: "Help me, I don'T want that suffering", while I know exactly that I'Ve chosen it intentionally.

If it is all about to stop delaying the awakening, then I understand it clearly what Eckhart means with that suffering makes it much more likely, that Awakening happens. And when I really ask me the question honestly, why I am not just stopping the delaying, the answer is simply: "I don't want yet. Just try it once more" - and how it ends we all know :D
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Re: Awakening

Postby Sighclone » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:39 am

unborn -

I think people who suffer with a large pain-body are good candidates for awakening, yes. And ET was one of those. But his release, while it happened initially that night he parsed the sentence "Maybe only one of them is real," he subsequently spent years and years integrating that solitary experience into the rest of his life. Which is to say "the bigger they are, the harder they fall." Addiction to a self-destructive ego structure is hard to break. And there is great resistance from the powerful negative self-image which usually accompanies a big ol' PB.

ET has in the past not been real high on therapists. But now, he has lined up with Wayne Dyer to do satsangs, and if there is anyone who has been all over all the maps it's little Waynie Dyer. He's jumped on every fad for thirty years. And now he's "got" nonduality.

I know that people who have complicated dysfunctional personalities (painbodies, complexes, neuroses, thought disorders, addictions) suffer greatly. I would like to believe that just being with a good spiritual teacher could clear all that, but Adyashanti and a number of other spiritual teachers suggest that some ego-based more traditional counseling might be a better first step. It has been interesting to listen to the callers at the end of Adya's recent online "radio" shows...one in particular who suffers from big time OCD called in and was clearly a long-time fan, but still hooked by her disorder.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Awakening

Postby unbornawakened » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:45 am

Krishnamurti said:

"Self-knowledge is not according to any formula. You may go to a psychologist or a psychoanalyst to find out about yourself, but that is not self-knowledge. Self-knowledge, comes into being when we are aware, of ourselves in relationship, which shows what we are from moment to moment. Relationship is a mirror in which to see ourselves as we actually are. But most of us are incapable of looking at ourselves as we are in relationship, because we immediately begin to condemn or justify what we see. We judge, we evaluate, we compare, we deny or accept, but we never observe actually what is, and for most people this seems to be the most difficult thing to do; yet this alone is the beginning of self-knowledge."

Although K is quick to dismiss therapy, what he says actually confirms that therapy can be helpful. A therapist who can reflect back to the patient his worldview (as in cognitive therapy) and the content of his mind without condemning or praising the patient - acting as a clear non-distorting mirror - can show us as we actually are. Even in conventional deep relationships (trusted longtime friend, romantic partner) one or both sides do not feel comfortable enough to share certain things - but even then, the other may be a distorting mirror. A lot depends on the patient's attitude, openness, and receptivity, of course. The problem is that therapy is costly, and as such is not an option for the average person (at least in the USA) - and for those who have the money, finding a really competent one can be a daunting challenge.

Most importantly, awakening - when ego functions according to real practical needs rather than "the story" of itself - is out of reach for almost everyone. We know this because we encounter very very very few truly awakened people in real life. The overwhelming majority simply need help and advice coping with certain mental distortions and emotional hang-ups. This is not a bad thing whether one wants to be awakened or not.

Now ... let me throw a bone here with a bit of speculation. In the case of those who truly awaken, the ego no longer plays the role that it used to play. It comes into play only when truly needed for practical purposes. The dysfunctional ego-patterns may still be present in an awakened person, but they are no longer activated. It is like a part of a computer program that is no longer being executed - it has not disappeared, it is not healed - it is still there, but the operating system works around the code - to put it in technical terms.

Of course, I will be pleased to hear what others have to say. By keeping an open mind and not being attached to our opinions, we open the door to self-knowledge.
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Re: Awakening

Postby Sighclone » Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:07 pm

It's nice to have members speak favorably about conventional therapies, and even bring in big guns like Jiddu K. There is an institute and group of therapists (yup they are based in Marin County) who practice their modalities with some level of sensitivity to the experience and process of awakening: http://wisdompsy.vpweb.com/default.html

They have two books out, "The Sacred Mirror" and "Listening From the Heart of Silence." Both are collections of essays, well written in general, but offering, in each essay a different perspective.

Personalities remain after awakening, and "people" are as unique with that lingering sketch of ego as they were when living an unconscious life utterly submerged in delusion and suffering.

Here is Adya on relationships:

The Heart of Relationship
Awakening to the truth of perfect Unity, means to awaken from the dream of a personal self and personal others to the realization that there is no other. Many spiritual seekers have had glimpses of the absolute unity of all existence, but few are capable of or willing to live up to the many challenging implications inherent in that revelation. The revelation of perfect unity, that there is no other, is a realization of the ultimate impersonality of all that seems to be so very personal. Applying this realization to the arena of personal relationships is something that most seekers find extremely challenging, and is the number one reason why so many seekers never come completely to rest in the freedom of the Self Absolute. Inherent in the revelation of perfect unity is the realization that there is no personal me, no personal other, and therefore no personal relationships. Coming to terms with the challenging implications of this stunning realization is something that few people are willing to do. Because realizing the true impersonality of all that seems so personal, challenges every aspect of the illusion of a separate, personal self. It challenges the entire structure of personal relationships which are born of needs, wants, and expectations. It is in the arena of personal relationships that the illusion of a separate self clings most tenaciously and insidiously. Indeed, there is nothing that derails more spiritual seekers than the grasping at and attaching to personal relationships.
The revelation of perfect unity reveals the true impersonality of all relationships. The ego always interprets “impersonal” as meaning cold, distant, and aloof. However, “impersonal” simply means not personal, or void of a separate me and a separate you. The mind cannot comprehend of a relationship without separate entities. Much as a character in a dream cannot comprehend that all other dream characters are simply manifestations of the same dreamer. Yet when the dreamer awakens, he instantly comprehends that the entire dream, and all the characters in it, were none other than projections of his own self. In the dream there is the appearance of separate, personal entities in relationship, but upon awakening one comprehends the impersonal (non-separate) Self that is the source of all appearances.
To deeply inquire into the question “Who is another?” can lead to the direct experience that the other is one’s own Self - that in fact there is no other. However, I have seen that for most seekers, even this direct experiential revelation is not enough to transform the painfully personal ways they relate. To come to this profound transformation requires a very deep investigation into the implications inherent within the experiential revelation that there is no other. It is in the daily living of these implications that most seekers fail. Why? Because, fundamentally, most people want to remain separate and in control. Simply put, most people want to keep dreaming that they are special, unique, and separate, more than they want to wake up to the perfect unity of an Unknown which leaves no room from any separation from the whole.
There is a powerful tendency in most spiritual seekers to avoid probing deeply into the implications inherent within profound spiritual experience and revelation, because these implications are always threatening to the sense of a separate self, or ego. It is the implications inherent within profound spiritual revelation that demand the transformation of the apparent individual.
Inherent within the revelation of perfect unity is the realization that there is no other. The implications of this realization reveal that in order to manifest that unity in the relative world, one must renounce the dream of being a separate self seeking to obtain anything through relationship with another. Indeed, personal relationship appears to happen in the relative world, but in reality, all appearances simply arise as temporary manifestations of a unified whole. In the relative world these appearances are in relationship, but not as separate entities. Rather, they are the play of the one Self projecting itself as apparent entities in relationship to one another.
As long as you identify yourself with the projection of separateness, you will continue to deny that you are the Source of all projections. When you truly and absolutely awaken to this fact, and comprehend the overwhelming implications inherent within this awakening, you will continually experience that all apparently personal relationships are in truth nothing other than the play of your Self. To realize that the personal me is an illusion born of false identification with the body, thoughts, and emotions, brings a profound sense of freedom. This is fundamentally the realization of emptiness, of what you are not. But contained within the realization of emptiness (formlessness) is also the realization of what you ARE. In the most absolute sense you ARE this conscious emptiness which is the source of all appearances (existence). But you are the appearance as well. Not just one part of the appearance called “me”, but all of it , the entire whole. This is the challenge, to let your view get this vast. To let your view get so vast that your identity disappears. Then you realize that there is no other, and there is nothing personal going on.
Contrary to the way the ego will view such a realization, it is in reality the birth of true love. A love which is free of all boundaries and fear. To the ego such uncontaminated love is unbearable in its intimacy. When there is no clear separating boundaries and nothing to gain the ego becomes disinterested, angry, or frightened. In a love where there is no other there is nowhere to hide, no one to control, and nothing to gain. It is the coming together of appearances in the beautiful dance of the SELF called Love.
To the seeker who is sincere, an experiential glimpse of this possibility is not enough. If you are sincere you will find it within yourself to go far beyond any glimpse. You will find within your Self the courage to let go of the known and dive deeply into the Unknown heart of a mystery that calls you only to itself.

Adyashanti, posted to AdyashantiSatsang by Bob O’Hearn

From NDHighlights Digest Number 1475
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Awakening

Postby unbornawakened » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:57 pm

Have you had lots of positive feedback about them, or any personal experience ?
Sounds like all the "Enlightened Ones" take residence in and around San Francisco (Mill Valley, Marin County, etc).
San Francisco has some of the richest people on earth and you will find luxury there you won't find even in Los Angeles (except perhaps a little in Beverly Hills and Malibu).
Heard lots of old hippies have their residence there. Harbin Hot Springs is not a bad place to meet some of the poorer ones.
And there are many very wealthy people."Enlightenment" seems to gravitate around money.
The few eastern-ized spiritual gurus with a claim to fame are in the same area (Adyashanti, Gangaji)

Why do these "spiritual people" gravitate around moneyed areas ?
Are they not merely trying to make a living (and lots of money) ?
Why should one waste dollars on those bent on emptying pockets of angst-ridden richies, when one is just a lower or middle-class "loser".

Isn't it cheaper to go to India and get the real thing, for those of us who cannot afford the high-priced "ENLIGHTENED GRINGOS EN LA CIUDAD SAN FRANCISCO" ?

(A little touch of humour does not hurt if you don't take it too seriously but enough to view things from another perspective)

Sighclone wrote: There is an institute and group of therapists (yup they are based in Marin County) who practice their modalities with some level of sensitivity to the experience and process of awakening: http://wisdompsy.vpweb.com/default.html
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Re: Awakening

Postby ashley72 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:38 pm

To deeply inquire into the question “Who is another?” can lead to the direct experience that the other is one’s own Self - that in fact there is no other.


Andy, for me Inquiring into "who is another?" just flows naturally on from "who am I?". But I agree with this passage, the realization needs to be very deep & direct seeing for any shift to occur. The deep shift has NOT occurred in this SELF. I'm still very much identified with Others, even though I have realized I'm not my thoughts or feelings. Stop identifying with Other has happened on an intellectual level, but that's not important... It has to be realized in direct seeing... and I up against a lifetime of conditioning!
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Re: Awakening

Postby Sighclone » Sat Oct 01, 2011 1:30 am

unborn -

Humor is fine. :D

I've met John Prendergast, Peter Fenner, and read most of John Welwood's stuff, but have not been to a satsang with any of them. The problem with India, is who to visit now. Ramesh Balsekar has passed. The administrators at Ramanashram seem to be getting very power hungry (told to me by a trusted third party who would know). Osho has passed. And there is a guru on every corner. Plus there are language difficulties. Tamil is hard to learn.

Let's say there is an enlightened person who is broke but very loving and writes and gives satsangs, charging only $5 per hour per person. And sells the books at cost plus $1 per volume. But this teacher is excellent and darn if millions of people don't buy the books and try to come to the satsangs. And he/she has a management team that suggests people might buy CDs, and darn if they don't buy a bunch. And, despite the low cost, suddenly this person has a net worth of $20M. 1) Are they therefore backslid and not enlightened any more? 2) Is the quality of their message therefore necessarily diluted, 3) at what net worth figure do we start to consider them greedy and discount any message? 4) Do we resent that 17 people are now on a payroll the teacher's work supports, during a recession? etc....

My point is, again, why is a comfortable life with money in the bank, a reason to discredit any teacher? Who are we to say how much a person charges for anything? If it's too much, we simply don't buy it. And if our reason for not buying is solely because we preceive they have made too much money from spiritual teachings, fine for us. Is that any reason another should look aside, just because we are envious? OOPS, I didn't use that word did I? But maybe it merits attention. Beliefs about how anyone else in the world (except maybe for our spouse, with whom we have a joint-expense agreement) feels pretty egoic to me.

Let's try thework on this: "Ms. Guru-teacher should give all their money to charity, and if they write another word or speak another sentence, it should be for free." 1)Is is true? ______ 2)Can we absolutely know that it is true? _____ 3) How do we react, what happens, when we believe that thought? _______ 4) Who would we be without the thought? _____ 5) A turnaround: "Ms. Guru-teacher should earn a comfortable living from her teaching." Don't know about anyone else, but 1) and 2) are far from certain. 3) This makes me feel very self-righteous and smug and 4) If I recognized that I was in no position to judge if this teacher or anyone else should stop charging for their services, I feel better about myself, owning my fundamental ignorance about what is the "right way" for someone else to live. And the turnaround is fine with me.

But those are just my opinions...

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Awakening

Postby Ralph » Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:18 am

Sighclone wrote:

Here is Adya on relationships:

The Heart of Relationship
Awakening to the truth of perfect Unity, means to awaken from the dream of a personal self and personal others to the realization that there is no other. Many spiritual seekers have had glimpses of the absolute unity of all existence, but few are capable of or willing to live up to the many challenging implications inherent in that revelation. The revelation of perfect unity, that there is no other, is a realization of the ultimate impersonality of all that seems to be so very personal. Applying this realization to the arena of personal relationships is something that most seekers find extremely challenging, and is the number one reason why so many seekers never come completely to rest in the freedom of the Self Absolute. Inherent in the revelation of perfect unity is the realization that there is no personal me, no personal other, and therefore no personal relationships. Coming to terms with the challenging implications of this stunning realization is something that few people are willing to do. Because realizing the true impersonality of all that seems so personal, challenges every aspect of the illusion of a separate, personal self. It challenges the entire structure of personal relationships which are born of needs, wants, and expectations. It is in the arena of personal relationships that the illusion of a separate self clings most tenaciously and insidiously. Indeed, there is nothing that derails more spiritual seekers than the grasping at and attaching to personal relationships.
The revelation of perfect unity reveals the true impersonality of all relationships. The ego always interprets “impersonal” as meaning cold, distant, and aloof. However, “impersonal” simply means not personal, or void of a separate me and a separate you. The mind cannot comprehend of a relationship without separate entities. Much as a character in a dream cannot comprehend that all other dream characters are simply manifestations of the same dreamer. Yet when the dreamer awakens, he instantly comprehends that the entire dream, and all the characters in it, were none other than projections of his own self. In the dream there is the appearance of separate, personal entities in relationship, but upon awakening one comprehends the impersonal (non-separate) Self that is the source of all appearances.
To deeply inquire into the question “Who is another?” can lead to the direct experience that the other is one’s own Self - that in fact there is no other. However, I have seen that for most seekers, even this direct experiential revelation is not enough to transform the painfully personal ways they relate. To come to this profound transformation requires a very deep investigation into the implications inherent within the experiential revelation that there is no other. It is in the daily living of these implications that most seekers fail. Why? Because, fundamentally, most people want to remain separate and in control. Simply put, most people want to keep dreaming that they are special, unique, and separate, more than they want to wake up to the perfect unity of an Unknown which leaves no room from any separation from the whole.
There is a powerful tendency in most spiritual seekers to avoid probing deeply into the implications inherent within profound spiritual experience and revelation, because these implications are always threatening to the sense of a separate self, or ego. It is the implications inherent within profound spiritual revelation that demand the transformation of the apparent individual.
Inherent within the revelation of perfect unity is the realization that there is no other. The implications of this realization reveal that in order to manifest that unity in the relative world, one must renounce the dream of being a separate self seeking to obtain anything through relationship with another. Indeed, personal relationship appears to happen in the relative world, but in reality, all appearances simply arise as temporary manifestations of a unified whole. In the relative world these appearances are in relationship, but not as separate entities. Rather, they are the play of the one Self projecting itself as apparent entities in relationship to one another.
As long as you identify yourself with the projection of separateness, you will continue to deny that you are the Source of all projections. When you truly and absolutely awaken to this fact, and comprehend the overwhelming implications inherent within this awakening, you will continually experience that all apparently personal relationships are in truth nothing other than the play of your Self. To realize that the personal me is an illusion born of false identification with the body, thoughts, and emotions, brings a profound sense of freedom. This is fundamentally the realization of emptiness, of what you are not. But contained within the realization of emptiness (formlessness) is also the realization of what you ARE. In the most absolute sense you ARE this conscious emptiness which is the source of all appearances (existence). But you are the appearance as well. Not just one part of the appearance called “me”, but all of it , the entire whole. This is the challenge, to let your view get this vast. To let your view get so vast that your identity disappears. Then you realize that there is no other, and there is nothing personal going on.
Contrary to the way the ego will view such a realization, it is in reality the birth of true love. A love which is free of all boundaries and fear. To the ego such uncontaminated love is unbearable in its intimacy. When there is no clear separating boundaries and nothing to gain the ego becomes disinterested, angry, or frightened. In a love where there is no other there is nowhere to hide, no one to control, and nothing to gain. It is the coming together of appearances in the beautiful dance of the SELF called Love.
To the seeker who is sincere, an experiential glimpse of this possibility is not enough. If you are sincere you will find it within yourself to go far beyond any glimpse. You will find within your Self the courage to let go of the known and dive deeply into the Unknown heart of a mystery that calls you only to itself.


... if you really, really, really, REALLY get what Adyashanti is saying here, then there is nowhere to go . The search ends here.

P.S. Again, thanks to Andy who every now and then posts this real gem from Adyashanti .
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Re: Awakening

Postby ashley72 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:13 am

Ralph wrote:... if you really, really, really, REALLY get what Adyashanti is saying here, then there is nowhere to go . The search ends here.

P.S. Again, thanks to Andy who every now and then posts this real gem from Adyashanti .


I second that!!!!
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Re: Awakening

Postby unbornawakened » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:00 pm

Well written and well argued. Of course, such people may have useful insights and advice, and their insights are not cancelled out by their demand for money. Just as a good psychotherapist cannot be dismissed for not being 'FREE'.

As for teachers in India, you made a good point. I know of none that I can trust but that may be because I have not searched enough. It need not be India, of course, there may be anywhere else, even places we never suspected. The good ones may remain unknown and shy away from any kind of publicity. Otherwise, we have to accept that among 1 billion + population of the birthplace of spirituality, there is not a single 'enlightened' person. If this is so, then why pursue 'enlightenment': it is hopeless. The apparent enlightened ones are the ones that advertise most about their enlightenment, and this does not bode well.

However, I know from the bottom of my heart that if someone is truly beyond this world, there is no way they will charge money for their teachings. How will they survive ? Well, many may actually have gainful employment. Others, perhaps they have trust in SOURCE and everything is given to them in one way or another. And donations play a big part in this. Someone who has money but respects this individual for not asking for it, will donate wholeheartedly. I believe a true spiritual teacher, very rare indeed (and that excludes all the famous ones, except Ramana Maharshi, as far as I know), will not charge anything at all for enlightening people... it just does not make sense, it is like saying: I give you the universal truth for all mankind but only if you can afford it - otherwise, go to hell !

I went on a Vipassana retreat because it was free. Why ? Because I felt these people are not after money. At the end, did I get a free ride ? NO ! I made a sizeable donation, out of my heart.

I went to meditation sessions that are free. Why ? Not to save money, but because I believed that these people are different and worth considering. And indeed, they were. Now, obviously those who have the means will return the favors they received. Charging a fee upfront is almost like a lack of trust, and the higher the fee the more average people are being excluded.

But to be fair, if there is no profit motive, and one is being charged for something that requires expense, the expense must be recovered somehow. Non-profit organizations getting involved and charging a fee ( for a CD, a DVD, etc) inspire much more trust.

In more mundane areas, I switched my car insurance with a non-profit organization, AAA. If they make a profit, they return it to you as a dividend.
Sighclone wrote:unborn -

Humor is fine. :D

I've met John Prendergast, Peter Fenner, and read most of John Welwood's stuff, but have not been to a satsang with any of them. The problem with India, is who to visit now. Ramesh Balsekar has passed. The administrators at Ramanashram seem to be getting very power hungry (told to me by a trusted third party who would know). Osho has passed. And there is a guru on every corner. Plus there are language difficulties. Tamil is hard to learn.

Let's say there is an enlightened person who is broke but very loving and writes and gives satsangs, charging only $5 per hour per person. And sells the books at cost plus $1 per volume. But this teacher is excellent and darn if millions of people don't buy the books and try to come to the satsangs. And he/she has a management team that suggests people might buy CDs, and darn if they don't buy a bunch. And, despite the low cost, suddenly this person has a net worth of $20M. 1) Are they therefore backslid and not enlightened any more? 2) Is the quality of their message therefore necessarily diluted, 3) at what net worth figure do we start to consider them greedy and discount any message? 4) Do we resent that 17 people are now on a payroll the teacher's work supports, during a recession? etc....

My point is, again, why is a comfortable life with money in the bank, a reason to discredit any teacher? Who are we to say how much a person charges for anything? If it's too much, we simply don't buy it. And if our reason for not buying is solely because we preceive they have made too much money from spiritual teachings, fine for us. Is that any reason another should look aside, just because we are envious? OOPS, I didn't use that word did I? But maybe it merits attention. Beliefs about how anyone else in the world (except maybe for our spouse, with whom we have a joint-expense agreement) feels pretty egoic to me.

Let's try thework on this: "Ms. Guru-teacher should give all their money to charity, and if they write another word or speak another sentence, it should be for free." 1)Is is true? ______ 2)Can we absolutely know that it is true? _____ 3) How do we react, what happens, when we believe that thought? _______ 4) Who would we be without the thought? _____ 5) A turnaround: "Ms. Guru-teacher should earn a comfortable living from her teaching." Don't know about anyone else, but 1) and 2) are far from certain. 3) This makes me feel very self-righteous and smug and 4) If I recognized that I was in no position to judge if this teacher or anyone else should stop charging for their services, I feel better about myself, owning my fundamental ignorance about what is the "right way" for someone else to live. And the turnaround is fine with me.

But those are just my opinions...

Andy
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Re: Awakening

Postby Sighclone » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:00 am

Nisargadatta and Ramesh Balsekar also held free sessions. Will Source provide for an enlightened teacher ("Why give ye thought for raiment? Consider ye the lilies of the field, how they grow, they toil not neither do they spin, yet not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these...") Maybe. Frankly, I agree with you. But Source might direct that teacher to some "day job" also. Or, as in Eckhart's case, a small lottery winning until he got PON published.

I'm also sympathetic to the non-profits, having volunteered tirelessly for two of them for 30 years. During one 18-month period, I worked for 15 hours per week...while holding another job. I say this not to be egoic, unborn, just to clarify that I was suggesting the current economic reality is capitalism, and demanding that someone step outside that to speak the truth, particularly if part of that truth is honoring "what is," is encouraging hypocrisy. It's here. Yes, as ET says, we have three options, accept, change or leave it. I think one can both "accept" and "encourage change" of capitalism. There are many abuses of it, most notably recently in the reckless endangerment exercised by large lending institutions both in offering "heartbeat" loans and those bets on bundles of bad loans called "credit default swaps" which had an exposure of over $40T at one point. Both activities were unregulated and in that "free market" much disaster has been created and magnified.

In this forum, we discourage political discussions, and this will be my last post in this thread, at least of a socio-political-economic variety. Thanks for hanging around and for your conscientious input here and elsewhere. :D

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Awakening

Postby polly53 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:36 am

Hello I am fairly new to Tolle and have just listened to a l
talk by Eckart called Living A Life of Inner Peace. I am very excited about starting this journey and keen to get going. There is much discussion on the benefits of living in the present but not much on how to do it! I am thinking that at each moment of the day my awareness needs to be brought back to the present moment from all those crazy thoughts in my head. I am guessing this takes much practice? Am I on the right path? I am driving my car and become aware that I am thinking about dinner, what to buy in town, what that person said to me yesterday!! Do I bring my mind back to where I am, what I am passing by etc? If this is what I do - will I improve with practice? I certainly see the positive in letting the past go and not thinking about the future. What a relief to get rid of all that baggage!

I have many more questions but some pointers in the right direction to start with would be terrific. I do hope some of you can help.
Cheers Rachel
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Re: Awakening

Postby Sighclone » Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:31 pm

Welcome Rachel! Discovering Tolle is a sea change for many people. It was for me. He has a CD set called "Gateways to Now" with some exercises -- highly recommended. Also Candice O'Denver's site greatfreedom.org has some pointers. And yes, you can "find presence" or "enter presence" any time. However, if it's a new mental exercise for you and distracts you from driving, don't do it.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Awakening

Postby tenderboy » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:20 pm

Life opened me some seconds ago. THIS was what I would call "Happiness". And it was not Joy or Peace, but somewhere inside you know that this is THE GOOD. What I felt was old pain and maybe its the first time since many years that there was space for the pain instead of identifying with it. So though my experience was negative emotion I would still call it "Happiness" because its the place where you have found yourself. Unfortunately, at the moment theres nothing else than a thought stream because its just to magnifying, but there I knew in less than Nanoseconds how good this awareness was for me. I wish I could be ever there :D
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