Brief intro and picking brains

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wakeupneo
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Brief intro and picking brains

Post by wakeupneo » Thu May 07, 2009 3:36 pm

Hello all,

Grace lead me to this website, just what I needed. Let me begin by filling you in on my "personal story". Like most of us, I'm just a regular guy whose always been a bit aloof. I've always felt a bit out of place and always felt there was something fundamentally world with the world, or at least in the way humanity was perceiving the world. As years went by, my frustration turned to pure hedonism. I kinda threw my hands up in the air, said I give up, let's party like a rock star. As you might imagine that quickly ended with a resounding "thud" and I found myself in a world of s***. Started studying Buddhism, eastern philosophy and I was like "man there is REALLY something here" it totally resonated with me. From that point on I was hooked. Like a splinter in my mind, I couldn't shake it. I read Eckhart Tolle and again "TPN" shook me at the core. I was soon introduced to Sant Mat (Surat Shabd Yoga) In many ways this path tore the top of the box, I was introduced to mysticism. I had some minor experiences, synchronistic events, heard countless stories of miracles and grace. I started seeing that this whole "whatever" is much more complex that I had ever thoght. I studied this path dilligently and practiced my mediations frequently. Ultimately I started seeing some contradictions in the teachings. I started seeing somewhat of a dualistic nature in mysticism, be it Sant Mat, Kriya, or whatever...

First let's look at mysticism.....
It's almost like the mystics say we need to get somewhere... There is an evolution, a progression the soul must go through. In fact Sant Mat talks about the physical body, the astral body and the causal bodies as layers over the soul. We need to shed these layers in meditation as we make our way towards the ultimate reality, untile we experience what it is to be pure consiousness. At least from arguements I heard from peers, they have often said that non-dual traditions miss the point in essence. It's more of a psychological enlightenement. And that often those who claim are "awake" are still far from the truth. The experience might be so liberating that they call it awake but in reality there is much more. The mystics talk of realms and regions beyond (of which I have no doubt do exist on some level)

The non-daulistics....
(My perspective is most likely a bit off, please correct my errors of thinking as I'm fairly new to jnana and advaita type teachings) Non-dualist believe that "being" is above all. Being in touch with "the observer, the seer, the awarness, being that, or "I am that"" ultimately if your focus is put on the "I am" (still kinda ambiguious to me) you will beging to experience life as this awareness. Often these teachers talk of experience where the "bottom falls out" like a lighting bolt, "WHAM" they awake... I guess they would argue that mysticism is full of concepts and duality (which it is). That whatever experience you are having, or whatever fligths of the sould you are on through the iner spiritual regions, you still are and always will be the "I AM" and that is truth and that is who are you. And that "I AM" is to be had here and now and doesn't require pujas or mystical travels...which leads me to something else....

all the non-dualist teachers talk that spiritual pracitces aren't nessecary but yet almsot all of them spent years, decades in intensive practice....

Anyways I guess I have a hard time putting these two school of thought together... Some argue they are one in the same.. Explain to me how??
_______________________________________

So here I am, having seriosu doubts about my current practice, my current teacher, my current path... I see just how much I identified witht he practice because I have so much fear about leaving it behind. Actually not practicing is making me depressed. I was nice to see that I really build a sense of identify around the practice... but I'm confused, scared, the mind is in the driver's seat

The mind is pretty nuerotic right now... Do I do my mantra or live in the present moment. Do I waste all those years of engraving my mantra in my mind in my heart or do I abandon it and live in the now and just observe. Same with my mediations... do I watch my breath, do I just sit in silence or do I continue my mantra meditation... Where am I going what am I doing?

It's weird I've dealt with some serious depression and anxiety in my life. It faded for a few years, and now it seems to be creeping up. I have a sense of hopelessness and don't know where to turn.

If anything just typing this message was therapeutic in it's own regard. If anyone has any feedback they feel might be helpful to my situation I would greatly appreciate it!

Thanks!

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Marcel Franke
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Re: Brief intro and picking brains

Post by Marcel Franke » Thu May 07, 2009 4:37 pm

> I have a sense of hopelessness and don't know where to turn.

Sounds good, you could try staying with that.
It might be an opportunity.

As in:
Look at it.
Stay stuck. Do not try to figure it out.
If a thought comes, great, let it go.
Look at the emotion. Let it be.

No method needed. No goal.
---ooOoo---

sevenworlds
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Re: Brief intro and picking brains

Post by sevenworlds » Thu May 07, 2009 4:42 pm

Hi wakeupneo,

I would say the so-called non-dualist who has practiced for years beforehand has simply realised that all their practice was unrelated to Truth itself or whatever you want to call it. That it happened DESPITE the practice. To some this sounds negative but in actual fact it's not. What they are trying to spotlight is the activity itself is not important. It's the drive, the burning, the longing inside which is the key. If that is not there, then all the meditation in the world is not going to do a thing for you. That "drive" itself is a mystery because it can't really be defined. It's not a want in the normal sense because you can only want what you know. This "drive" seems to be pushing you but you don't know why and where.

In that way, if the "drive" is there, it will find it's own path. That is what the non-dualist is trying to express. They are aiming to clear the way for you so you have more room to find your own path. What 99% of seekers are doing is latching onto the coat-tails of another's path, whether they know it or not. They will claim what they see as non-dualist is misleading or difficult to understand but it can only be so if you are not truly getting the mystic view. Once it is seen both go out the window.

The mystics view you talk about is actually happening alongside the non-dualist view, in the sense that the "drive" I speak of IS the progression. So it's like a progression is taking place but you won't know it as a progression until after Truth is realised. None of this makes sense to the intellect. The problem with the mystic view is people take up the idea of progression consciously. That means they've now believed into existence that there is a progression to this and that gives momentum to their search in time. Then it becomes always just a step away from you.

It's like Nisargadatta Maharaj claims all he did was obey what his Master told him, which seems like a path, and yet he is labelled a "non-dualist" because his teaching was very direct and cutting. He was wise enough to know that his path was a fluke. A complete accident. So he didn't encourage anyone to imitate his path. We all want to imitate, that's all we ever do, because that's all we've ever known how to exist in this world. We imitate our parents, then our friends, teachers, our boss, idols, everything is about imitation. Looking at what was done before and trying to make it work for you. This Truth lies outside all of that.

What we've done over centuries is take statements and actions of those we've considered to be in some enlightened state - and if any of them were the genuine article, their very statements would have been aiming to get us out of our boxes - and created a new box from it labelled 'spirituality'. We've taken the Unknown and packaged it as a known thing. Then at some point in our lives we get bored with all the other boxes and we crossover to this spiritual box. It doesn't get us any closer to the Unknown than the boxes we were in before. We forget that those such as Tolle himself, only delved into the spiritual knowledge AFTER the transformation itself. No practices or techniques led him there. We are delving in beforehand because we hear him talking in a spiritual way and want to imitate.

The sense of hopelessness you say you have is where it is to be found. You don't have to do a thing. You could walk away from all of the practises you've been doing and it will make no difference. You can't put a foot wrong.

Tau_Neutrino
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Re: Brief intro and picking brains

Post by Tau_Neutrino » Thu May 07, 2009 6:01 pm

There is some truth to what sevenworlds writes. sevenworlds is this what you experienced first hand, or are you imitating, repeating what you have heard? Perhaps it is a little of both, I say that because there is a sense of dualism in your non dual speak. (Non dual is just another way of saying all is one). It sounds as though you are saying it is this way, but not that way, this is the right way, that is not the right way. I sense the word should concealed in your writing.

To experience non dual existence is inclusive, all is possible, all ways are valid, the practice, the no practice, the instant awakening, the progressive awakening, the completely authentic path, and the imitation, the mystical the non mystical. All this arises from the same place does it not? To think otherwise lands one back in dualism, a fragmented sense of reality.

T.N.

Tara
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Re: Brief intro and picking brains

Post by Tara » Thu May 07, 2009 6:28 pm

Hi T.N.,
You "seem" to be ahead of me on this path but I just wanted to relate something I heard recently...Jac O'Keefe speaks like others that there is no or nothing to follow but mentioned if you do follow or feel the need to learn or study a certain way-than do it. I like what she called it...spinning out. It all leads to awareness but really doesn't. By spinning out you see what is false, which I guess can lead to the truth. My mind likes to figure out things so maybe "trying" will lead me to finally saying enough is enough and I stop trying, which is what I "hear" is the key:)

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RCharles
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Re: Brief intro and picking brains

Post by RCharles » Thu May 07, 2009 10:11 pm

Dear Neo,

I sense you need a direct answer rather than theory. Here it is:
  • The depression/confusion comes from too much thought. Your thoughts don't mean anything, but you are listening to them and taking them seriously. You will get relief when you can quiet your mind and think less, and when you can stop listening to your thoughts as if they were true. Don't get caught up in the thought whirlwind by thinking that your thoughts are true. Just let the thoughts pass on through like floating clouds, and don't take them seriously.
  • It doesn't matter what technique you use--mantra/no mantra, focus on breath/don't focus, this teacher/that teacher, this path/that path. What matters is being present as much as possible as a way of quieting the mind and thoughts. If a mantra or following the breath helps you be more present and think less, do it. If dropping them works better, do it.
  • Practice presence as much as you possibly can. Take mental breaks often at work, at play, running errands, etc. Just pause regularly, close your eyes if you can, and be present for a few seconds. Do it often.
  • Don't seek experiences. Just focus on being present, being at peace, accepting whatever is. It's OK if experiences happen, but they are not the point. The point is being at peace, and being at peace will eventually lead you to knowing who you are. You don't have to do anything or be anything other than being present and at peace. Any additional spiritual knowledge, understanding, or awareness that you may receive comes from that place of inner peace.
I hope this helps you. Keeping it simple and just remaining present, at peace, and accepting of present reality provides both the escape from mental turmoil and the spiritual knowledge that you seek. Just do that and all will be well. :D

Charles
"They are all...perfect..." --Ken Watanabe, dying scene in the movie The Last Samurai

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Re: Brief intro and picking brains

Post by kiki » Thu May 07, 2009 11:02 pm

Some very good answers from sevenworlds and RCharles. Whatever method or non-method that is used, the final drop of the shoe is when awareness is realized to be what you are. Personally, I practiced formal meditation for nearly 30 years and was on the verge of quitting the spiritual search entirely because I wasn't seeing any results that were satisfying, and then I came across ET. His teaching was enough for me to simply stop and notice what was already here, and when I did that my search ended. I could see how the illusion of me was sustained all those years through my meditation and spiritual practices.

By the way, welcome to the board.

kiki
"Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole ... Miss Kelly, you know, when you wear my flower you make it look beautiful." Elwood P. Dowd
---

sevenworlds
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Re: Brief intro and picking brains

Post by sevenworlds » Thu May 07, 2009 11:05 pm

Tau_Neutrino wrote:There is some truth to what sevenworlds writes. sevenworlds is this what you experienced first hand, or are you imitating, repeating what you have heard? Perhaps it is a little of both, I say that because there is a sense of dualism in your non dual speak.
You see, if I have to keep repeating sorry but, I really don't see any of this in non-dual speak, mysticism, advaita or whatever it is. They are all false to me. Plenty others here seem to know about these things and label me a "non-dualist" or "neo-advaita". I haven't studied any of these things so I don't know. For the purposes of this post, I accepted those terms in the sense the OP used them. It has been my own observation that a sticking point (especially amongst Tolle followers) often seems to be a clinging to positive expression and relative sense of reality to the point where many are afraid to let go and see the whole picture. They take comfort in his gentle approach. If it is truly seen both these ideas should go out the window and what you call non-dualism should not be frightening. What I say is a result of what I'm reading. If someone was just throwing out non-dual speak intellectually maybe a different response would come. I don't know.

Tony-S-Ma
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Re: Brief intro and picking brains

Post by Tony-S-Ma » Thu May 07, 2009 11:54 pm

wakeupneo,

I loved Matrix when I first watched it.

In my personal experience. Monotonic practices lead to depression and other mental discomfort. I eventually learned not to do any repetitious practice. In your case, you perhaps are addicted to the practice, and you are experiencing the withdraw. I would suggest you forget about practicing anything repetitious, just live your life with more open eyes. Observe life within you and without you. Or simply observe Life which will teach/guide you. This does not mean you don't make decisions. When you are hungry, you eat and when you are tired, you take a nap. Look after your body first, the rest will be taken care of.

wakeupneo
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Re: Brief intro and picking brains

Post by wakeupneo » Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:46 pm

sevenworlds wrote:Hi wakeupneo,

I would say the so-called non-dualist who has practiced for years beforehand has simply realised that all their practice was unrelated to Truth itself or whatever you want to call it. That it happened DESPITE the practice. To some this sounds negative but in actual fact it's not. What they are trying to spotlight is the activity itself is not important. It's the drive, the burning, the longing inside which is the key. If that is not there, then all the meditation in the world is not going to do a thing for you. That "drive" itself is a mystery because it can't really be defined. It's not a want in the normal sense because you can only want what you know. This "drive" seems to be pushing you but you don't know why and where.

In that way, if the "drive" is there, it will find it's own path. That is what the non-dualist is trying to express. They are aiming to clear the way for you so you have more room to find your own path. What 99% of seekers are doing is latching onto the coat-tails of another's path, whether they know it or not. They will claim what they see as non-dualist is misleading or difficult to understand but it can only be so if you are not truly getting the mystic view. Once it is seen both go out the window.

The mystics view you talk about is actually happening alongside the non-dualist view, in the sense that the "drive" I speak of IS the progression. So it's like a progression is taking place but you won't know it as a progression until after Truth is realised. None of this makes sense to the intellect. The problem with the mystic view is people take up the idea of progression consciously. That means they've now believed into existence that there is a progression to this and that gives momentum to their search in time. Then it becomes always just a step away from you.

It's like Nisargadatta Maharaj claims all he did was obey what his Master told him, which seems like a path, and yet he is labelled a "non-dualist" because his teaching was very direct and cutting. He was wise enough to know that his path was a fluke. A complete accident. So he didn't encourage anyone to imitate his path. We all want to imitate, that's all we ever do, because that's all we've ever known how to exist in this world. We imitate our parents, then our friends, teachers, our boss, idols, everything is about imitation. Looking at what was done before and trying to make it work for you. This Truth lies outside all of that.

What we've done over centuries is take statements and actions of those we've considered to be in some enlightened state - and if any of them were the genuine article, their very statements would have been aiming to get us out of our boxes - and created a new box from it labelled 'spirituality'. We've taken the Unknown and packaged it as a known thing. Then at some point in our lives we get bored with all the other boxes and we crossover to this spiritual box. It doesn't get us any closer to the Unknown than the boxes we were in before. We forget that those such as Tolle himself, only delved into the spiritual knowledge AFTER the transformation itself. No practices or techniques led him there. We are delving in beforehand because we hear him talking in a spiritual way and want to imitate.

The sense of hopelessness you say you have is where it is to be found. You don't have to do a thing. You could walk away from all of the practises you've been doing and it will make no difference. You can't put a foot wrong.
Hey Seven,

Thanks for the reply!

I guess the issue I'm having is your point of view vs. the mystic path. For instance I'm involved in a path which teaches a form of meditation in which one enters into the spiritual more ethetric regions and constantly progress throughout these regions with specific instructions ontil the one merge with God, the oversoul... There are quite few paths such as this. They wold regard Adviata or Zen as merely some sort of psychological enlightenment. These mystic path talk about going into these regions, which will pay dividends after we leave the physical body.

My issue is I'm not sure that I want peace and happiness. Is that the purpose? This experience is so temporary and fleeting, I would rather find a way and takes steps to ensure a smooth transition in the realms beyond.

If all that matters is to live in the present moment, awaken from the dream, etc. Why do all these spiritual regions exist? Why do I know people that have access to these realms and why are there techniques in which to enter these realms. That's what I'm trying to wrap my head around.

What if the purpose is about learning where we go after this physical existence. What if the purpose is to move beyond physical body consiousness, move beyond 'this' world. I have friends in the Sikh religion that speak of a very specific path and technique one must take to meet God and ultimately merge one with God. This is also a concept that is congruent with Sant Mat or Radhasoami.

Ugh!!! Thanks guess I appreciate your feedback.

wakeupneo
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Re: Brief intro and picking brains

Post by wakeupneo » Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:04 pm

Sevenworlds,

one more thing, you mention that the 'desire' is all that is needed.

What about those you have no more desire to search because they believe they have 'found' the path. Are these individual merely then spinning their wheels?

thanks bud!

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Marcel Franke
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Re: Brief intro and picking brains

Post by Marcel Franke » Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:11 pm

Stay as you are.
It is your mind searching for an answer.
What answer can be given to you ?
Is it not that you want a real change ?
Then why ask for the old ?
The mind can only understand the old,
for it is made of the old.
It is accumulated past.
And now, the mind is asking for the new ?
How can it understand ?
It is more impossible then putting new wine into old wine sacks.
Then why the effort ?
It is seeing that it fails,
there seems to be some need for harmony,
has it not already proven to itself that is only bringing disharmony ?
Then why continue this game of old questions and old answers and ending up with the same misery ?
You see ?
Then that seeing is enough.
Adya said: God does not need any help.
It is like having experienced Movers in the house,
and the worried infant asks if it needs to help.
How can it help ? It will only be in the way.
It only needs to get out of the way.
Allow the New to enter.
---ooOoo---

wakeupneo
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Re: Brief intro and picking brains

Post by wakeupneo » Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:41 pm

Marcel Franke wrote:Stay as you are.
It is your mind searching for an answer.
What answer can be given to you ?
Is it not that you want a real change ?
Then why ask for the old ?
The mind can only understand the old,
for it is made of the old.
It is accumulated past.
And now, the mind is asking for the new ?
How can it understand ?
It is more impossible then putting new wine into old wine sacks.
Then why the effort ?
It is seeing that it fails,
there seems to be some need for harmony,
has it not already proven to itself that is only bringing disharmony ?
Then why continue this game of old questions and old answers and ending up with the same misery ?
You see ?
Then that seeing is enough.
Adya said: God does not need any help.
It is like having experienced Movers in the house,
and the worried infant asks if it needs to help.
How can it help ? It will only be in the way.
It only needs to get out of the way.
Allow the New to enter.
Marcel,

Whew, wow that was great. Thank you my brother.

I guess I come back to this story that "yeah sure" surrender is great and all and I know I would have much more peace and much more happiness with it. But so what? So there is less suffering for the nexy 1, 20,30,40 years until the physical body passes. So what? Have I accumilated any virtue which will help me in the beyond? Have I taken any neccessary steps to reap some sort of rewards of my physical existence? Have I learned anything of the existence after the passing of the physical? Saints and mystics talk about dying while living. Traditions speak of seeing these realms for yourself and getting aquianted with them.

Ugh, thanks for your help...

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Sighclone
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Re: Brief intro and picking brains

Post by Sighclone » Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:46 pm

Welcome wakeupneo...

Find a practice/no practice which keeps you present as much as possible (during meditation, outside of meditation...everywhere, everywhen). Do it for a year.

Then ask if these questions still have relevance:
Have I accumulated any virtue which will help me in the beyond? Have I taken any neccessary steps to reap some sort of rewards of my physical existence? Have I learned anything of the existence after the passing of the physical?
My experience is similar to kiki's, both in history and in the impact of ET. But since ET, questions like yours above have ceased to have interest or meaning. Rewards, afterlife experiences, past incarnations, future incarnations, siddhis, synchronicities etc... all window-dressing. My whole life seems to be one extended synchronicity with a much larger pulse of the universe. This is not to say that I always notice it or understand it. My job is to simply live it...and spread a little good will...in the present moment.

Namaste, 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

sevenworlds
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Re: Brief intro and picking brains

Post by sevenworlds » Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:46 am

wakeupneo wrote:I guess the issue I'm having is your point of view vs. the mystic path. For instance I'm involved in a path which teaches a form of meditation in which one enters into the spiritual more ethetric regions and constantly progress throughout these regions with specific instructions ontil the one merge with God, the oversoul... There are quite few paths such as this. They wold regard Adviata or Zen as merely some sort of psychological enlightenment. These mystic path talk about going into these regions, which will pay dividends after we leave the physical body.
I don't go for any paths. The problem with a path is you have an aim. Any path you choose carries the aim of reaching this imagined state called enlightenment. You project this state into the future. So any path is only strengthening your mind.
My issue is I'm not sure that I want peace and happiness. Is that the purpose? This experience is so temporary and fleeting, I would rather find a way and takes steps to ensure a smooth transition in the realms beyond.
What realms beyond? These realms are imagined. If you hadn't heard about them would you be interested in them? Peace and happiness are also imagined. You read/hear about peace and happiness and they become known things - experiences you have. You can only want what you know.
If all that matters is to live in the present moment, awaken from the dream, etc. Why do all these spiritual regions exist? Why do I know people that have access to these realms and why are there techniques in which to enter these realms. That's what I'm trying to wrap my head around.
These realms are no different to peace and happiness. Fleeting experiences. If someone is accessing them it means it is an experience. Forget the present moment and forget awakening. What is there to awaken to? There is no such thing as the present moment. That's another trap.
What if the purpose is about learning where we go after this physical existence. What if the purpose is to move beyond physical body consiousness, move beyond 'this' world. I have friends in the Sikh religion that speak of a very specific path and technique one must take to meet God and ultimately merge one with God. This is also a concept that is congruent with Sant Mat or Radhasoami.
How will you be able to learn where you go after this existence? That could only be known once your physical body has drawn its last breath - but you won't be there to experience that. So there is no way of knowing what is beyond. All this stuff about beyond and other worlds is only a figment of our imagination. Since we have no way of comprehending death - which doesn't exist anyway - we have come up with all sorts of imaginings and theories about what comes after. There is only this. We'll do anything other than face up to this because that is the only death.
one more thing, you mention that the 'desire' is all that is needed.

What about those you have no more desire to search because they believe they have 'found' the path. Are these individual merely then spinning their wheels?
No, it is the recognition that you are desire that is important. There is not 'you' and 'desire' - it is not a quality you are separate from. You, yourself are desire. Those who claim they have no more desire to search because they have found the path must be deluding themselves. They would know better than to claim there is a path. That is just someone with a rigid belief system. I saw a programme on Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam the other night. He was talking about his conversion to Islam in the 1970s. He looked and sounded like a man who'd found his path and was keen to share it. I wish him all the best but 30 yrs later he is still no further forward. It's a false peace through the feeling of belonging to something. The mind is incredibly powerful and can create all sorts of experiences and belief patterns, and the lure of religions and spiritual paths and techniques can be very intoxicating.

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