Spiritual Practices

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quark
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Spiritual Practices

Post by quark » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:43 pm

I began listing to Practicing the Power of Now again & have begun to catalogue the spiritual practices I am hearing in the audio. Then, an idea struck me to create a thread where everyone can list all the spiritual practices they that helps them calm their mind, find inner peace, awaken, etc.

Some may be from ET, some may not be, but this will be an interesting thread to say the least.

So I'll start out with a practice I have just implemented.
Watching the thinker.


Now this may seem a little basic & fundamental, however, I was just listening to a Tony Robbins audio where he was talking about some of the greatest people became great by mastering the fundamentals.

What practices do you use?
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one"
-- Albert Einstein

snowheight
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Re: Spiritual Practices

Post by snowheight » Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:05 am

O.K.

This is embarrassing because it is so long.

Ultimately, I have formed a belief that a state at which there is no need for practice is perhaps possible and optimal, I also accept my current state is not that state. This next simply must be expressed in the comical formulation of ndspeak: that belief is treated about as seriously from this perspective as any other belief held within it these days.

Here goes:

1) Chasing the high. This has evolved and probably will continue to evolve over time based on what I’ve learned, primarily here directly and as a jumping off point. Eckhart Tolle first tricked me into meditating with the mousehole exercise, and recognizing this and deepening into it were a natural progression.

I’ve come to realize that meditation is prayer without asking for anything or being sorry for anything. While I truly prayed only rarely before, I do so more often now, and when I do, I give thanks for quite a bit, ask that my deceased loved ones find in death what they did not find in life, for the well-being of those close to me, and for the well-being of all. I say sorry for all the stupid stuff I’ve done and ask for the courage, strength and wisdom to lead the rest of my sorry-ass existence, what is left of it, as best I can.

Lately, at Sighclone Andy’s suggesting, I’ve also ended the prayer with a plea for whatever will wake me up. It is really really funny to notice how scary a plea this is to make. Hey Jason: give me one of those “99%’r” baseball caps you’re getting made up for us .. ‘k?

I pray to “whatever-is”.

2) Watching the thinker has evolved into a more generalized watching and has flipped on itself. While I still watch for recursive thinking (a thought which was evoked by another thought, which can lead to yet another though evoked by that thought: “I’m hungry … I haven’t done the shopping … they started roadwork at the exit to the street with the best grocery … there are lots of guys on the construction crew who never seem to be doing anything as I drive by … my taxes are too high …), since this happens less and less I watch for other things: judgments not necessary to daily function, any hint of negative emotion, sneaky, sympathetic false-identification which plays to compassion, any “resting” of the mind on any sort of point which results in external fulfillment (this is the hardest so far!) … very long list here.

By flipped on itself what I mean is that I also maintain a positive watch for a felt sense of oneness with being, and the constant lapse of this watch is a pointer in and of itself. I’ve just had to accept the vast potential for self-delusion on this point, and while this is perhaps the most useful watching, it is also the most “dangerous” in a way, in that one can never be certain of the pointers.

During the many times in a day when the recognition of a sway from the mark is made, I follow my signature. Always works. Every time. It seems to be the one thing that might survive the constant process of evolution.

3) Go skiing. Go on a hike to the lake, a run around the trails and dive in.

4) Intellectual seeking. This is a great way to tame the constant search and longing for more, more and ever ever more … think of it as directing an out of control fire-hose down a big wide drain instead of letting it flail all over the place doing random damage to whatever it would hit. Favorite subjects continue to be science and history and I’ve started leaning toward philosophy and have a sincere desire to re-kindle an academic-level study of higher mathematics. What I’ve heard said about Sanskrit is rather tantalizing.

5) An understanding and bearing in mind of the ruthless truth. At bottom, there is no me, there is no you. While this might be only half the truth (which is why it can be understood) it is a very very important half and when recognized in context can snap one right back into awareness on the dime.

6) Give daily pursuits my best efforts.
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

hanss
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Re: Spiritual Practices

Post by hanss » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:45 am

I do Qigong almost every morning. Some Yoga. Feel the innerbody and listen to my Subtle sound in the head Spend much time in nature, stop and feel. Listen, look and appreciate. I try sometimes to be "aware of awareness" when I feel like it. I'm not chasing any big self-realisation, if I have a goal it would be harmony. Harmony with body-mind-spirit. I see most of non-duality as only the mental aspect of spirituality. Mind stuff, more thinking and understanding. The body, heart etc. must be included, that is my experience. I don't know if this can be called a spiritual practice but I try to remember that I get what I need when I'm ready for it.
"In today's rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being."
(Eckhart Tolle)

alex
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Re: Spiritual Practices

Post by alex » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:58 pm

My current 'practice' is noticing the awareness that is here already. Being aware of that awareness. Rather than trying to get somewhere by doing something it's changed to just recognizing the formless, vast awareness that is here. This usually takes me to a place of deep listening. Sometimes it takes me to a place of absolutely nothing, no borders between me and everything. It feels like home, so wholesome. But then I get confused, coz in this place nothing needs to be done but then a part of me is still so sure that I should be doing something. The seeker still alive in there somewhere sometimes I guess.
A little practice I do that makes me aware of an extreme vastness is to say 'I' in my head and then feel that what I truly am is the awareness of that thought. Works every time. My attention is sent out to the edges of space and all borders dissolve. I see that I am nothing and all of this.
So... my tip would be to just notice the awareness that is already here. Become truly concsious of that. There's nowhere you need to go cause it is already here, you just have to notice it. Thats all this whole game is about, awareness realising itself. Not 'you' becoming more conscious or more aware but awareness itself waking up.
Hanss, you're lucky you get to just become aware of awareness when you feel like it. Why on earth am I so driven to LIVE IT, to BE it always?!!!?!!!

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Ananda
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Re: Spiritual Practices

Post by Ananda » Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:43 pm

Good post, alex. I agree with everything you're saying here.
in this place nothing needs to be done but then a part of me is still so sure that I should be doing something.
Maybe it's your 'outer purpose' unfolding, as Tolle puts it?

Why on earth am I so driven to LIVE IT, to BE it always?!!!?!!!

:lol:

Same. Perhaps we are just meant to!

runstrails
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Re: Spiritual Practices

Post by runstrails » Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:15 pm

I totally resonate with alex and ananda (good to hear from you, ananda). The 'practice' they describe is very similar for me. The only difference is that I get so caught up in everyday stuff sometimes that I need reminders to get out of mind and feel the ever-present awareness. As reminders go, I like to spend time in nature and just stop for a moment and sense the stillness (in the midst of whatever craziness is going on).

karmarider
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Re: Spiritual Practices

Post by karmarider » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:11 pm

Observance and honesty are pretty much it.

Other people have said the same thing variously--watching the thinker, staying in awareness, etc

Releasing is a specific kind of observance--it helps letting go anxiety and similar hard emotions, and it's valuable in that it gives the actual experience of letting-go. And the realization that letting-go is more natural than holding-on.

Honesty is not easy. But it develops with intention.

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Re: Spiritual Practices

Post by heidi » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:41 pm

I simply "fall back" into the seat of awareness many many times over the course of the day. And I do some therapeutic breathing for my blood pressure, and a wonderful perquisite of that is just being clarity while breathing or as the balanced view guys would call it: Open Intelligence. :D
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the key master
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Re: Spiritual Practices

Post by the key master » Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:12 am

snowey said,
Ultimately, I have formed a belief that a state at which there is no need for practice is perhaps possible and optimal, I also accept my current state is not that state. This next simply must be expressed in the comical formulation of ndspeak: that belief is treated about as seriously from this perspective as any other belief held within it these days.
Ok. But there already is no need to practice being what you already are. You're practicing because you want to practice. So, if there is intention to understand the dynamics of your practice, how its totally ineffectual to becoming something that you actually already are, the possibility to transcend the mind state brought about through the practice can "happen".
I say sorry for all the stupid stuff I’ve done and ask for the courage, strength and wisdom to lead the rest of my sorry-ass existence, what is left of it, as best I can.
Please, for yourself, stop apologizing. There's nothing to be sorry about. I'm not saying to never apologize again, or that saying sorry is against the rules, I'm just saying, you seem to believe that certain things which did happen should not have happened, that if you could go back in time and change things, that you would. That needs to be looked at. (its delusional)
Lately, at Sighclone Andy’s suggesting, I’ve also ended the prayer with a plea for whatever will wake me up. It is really really funny to notice how scary a plea this is to make. Hey Jason: give me one of those “99%’r” baseball caps you’re getting made up for us .. ‘k?
LOL no problem.
Watching the thinker has evolved into a more generalized watching and has flipped on itself. While I still watch for recursive thinking (a thought which was evoked by another thought, which can lead to yet another though evoked by that thought: “I’m hungry … I haven’t done the shopping … they started roadwork at the exit to the street with the best grocery … there are lots of guys on the construction crew who never seem to be doing anything as I drive by … my taxes are too high …), since this happens less and less I watch for other things: judgments not necessary to daily function, any hint of negative emotion, sneaky, sympathetic false-identification which plays to compassion, any “resting” of the mind on any sort of point which results in external fulfillment (this is the hardest so far!) … very long list here.
Its monkey mind syndrome, in itself not indicative of a particular delusion, but the conditioned nature of mind and thinking. I think many delusional minds think they can transcend their own "conditionednessness". I also think, the "mind state of no mind" leads to the mental tendency to think that all thought has to be "lively, deep, and profound". This is probably a result from stupid ass guru's with surface level understandings of thought mechanics talking about their blinged out mind states. This is why I would focus less on a given mind state, and more on the dynamics at the root.
By flipped on itself what I mean is that I also maintain a positive watch for a felt sense of oneness with being, and the constant lapse of this watch is a pointer in and of itself. I’ve just had to accept the vast potential for self-delusion on this point, and while this is perhaps the most useful watching, it is also the most “dangerous” in a way, in that one can never be certain of the pointers.
Hmm. This sounds like a classical seeking dynamic. A "positive watch" sounds like the mind believing that it can recognize that which is beyond mental recognition. The mind can interpret experience, can interpret bliss, feelings of oneness, and its own absence, but the interpretation is by nature delusional, because it presumes a certain someone was in a certain state. Moreover, the "positive watch" is more than likely to "end the state being sought" because of the eagerness to interpret what's been found (nothing), so that it can be found again(which it cant).

Turn your positive watch into a negative watch. Next time you have a felt oneness with being, do whatever you can to end the experience. Eventually, there will be nothing you can do to end the experience because oneness is not an experience. Big league advice there.
3) Go skiing. Go on a hike to the lake, a run around the trails and dive in.
I'm a tree hugger too. And, some experiences are fun, although this probably has more to do with the absence of the tendency to exert personal control than the presence of a certain someone doing a certain something. That just something which appears to be happening from no time to no time. :)
4) Intellectual seeking. This is a great way to tame the constant search and longing for more, more and ever ever more … think of it as directing an out of control fire-hose down a big wide drain instead of letting it flail all over the place doing random damage to whatever it would hit. Favorite subjects continue to be science and history and I’ve started leaning toward philosophy and have a sincere desire to re-kindle an academic-level study of higher mathematics. What I’ve heard said about Sanskrit is rather tantalizing.
Youre definitely really smart. My guess is you would take naturally to use of algorithms to reverse engineer unconscious tendencies which you yourself not only wanted to form, but are choosing, albeit unconsciouly, to keep in place. Once you get some foundational algorithms, and know what to look for, "spot checking" happens by itself. The big ones are, the tendency to repress, tendency to expect, tendency to seek a sense of self in past/future, tendency to avoid emotional pain, tendency to suppress desire, things like this. These are the ways you "avoid being lucid", which for one reason or another, is precisely what you want to be doing. So its less about figuring out how to be lucid, and more about figuring out why a certain someone doesnt want to be.

Also, awakening is sometimes called self regulating. Some folks seem to desire to maintain some semblance of psychic stability, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. In a way youre brainwashing yourself, which most people dont understand because they arent awakening but stacking delusions, hehe. Theres no rush, nowhere to get, and nothing in this for you.

nightowl
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Re: Spiritual Practices

Post by nightowl » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:15 pm

I try to experience people, places, objects, thoughts without labeling or judging. In other words, I try not to let preconceived notions, conditioning and learned habits cloud what's happening right here right now.

I do not label this a 'spiritual practice.' It's just my daily life :)
snowheight wrote: 5) An understanding and bearing in mind of the ruthless truth. At bottom, there is no me, there is no you.
Yes..this.

arel
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Re: Spiritual Practices

Post by arel » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:54 am

Such a nice feeling to read this type of posts.. this is the reason to have this forum.
alex wrote:My current 'practice' is noticing the awareness that is here already. Being aware of that awareness. Rather than trying to get somewhere by doing something it's changed to just recognizing the formless, vast awareness that is here. This usually takes me to a place of deep listening. Sometimes it takes me to a place of absolutely nothing, no borders between me and everything. It feels like home, so wholesome. But then I get confused, coz in this place nothing needs to be done but then a part of me is still so sure that I should be doing something. The seeker still alive in there somewhere sometimes I guess.
A little practice I do that makes me aware of an extreme vastness is to say 'I' in my head and then feel that what I truly am is the awareness of that thought. Works every time. My attention is sent out to the edges of space and all borders dissolve. I see that I am nothing and all of this.
So... my tip would be to just notice the awareness that is already here. Become truly concsious of that. There's nowhere you need to go cause it is already here, you just have to notice it. Thats all this whole game is about, awareness realising itself. Not 'you' becoming more conscious or more aware but awareness itself waking up.
Hanss, you're lucky you get to just become aware of awareness when you feel like it. Why on earth am I so driven to LIVE IT, to BE it always?!!!?!!!
What I say is only my viewpoint.

nightowl
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Re: Spiritual Practices

Post by nightowl » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:24 am

alex wrote:Thats all this whole game is about, awareness realising itself. Not 'you' becoming more conscious or more aware but awareness itself waking up.
Dang, that's nice.

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HandfullaMinerals
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Re: Spiritual Practices

Post by HandfullaMinerals » Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:32 pm

When I'm not taking a break from it, my formal practices are:

Watch the thinker, question it and let it subside if it wants to.

Ajapa yoga, mentaly reciting mantras to focus and calm the mind (many times this practice has ended me up in 'glimpse' states where body-mind distictions disappear and end in a feeling of bliss (no high).

And of course, comtemplation, involving understanding, cross referencing old experience to see what the 'i''s motives really were.
It is the ego which raises difficulties, creating obstacles and then suffers from the perplexity of apparent paradoxes. Find out who makes the enquiries and the Self will be found.

braveheart
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Re: Spiritual Practices

Post by braveheart » Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:43 pm

1) Byron Katie's work;
2) observing my thoughts and emotions;
3) feeling my chest (more than my body);
4) watching videos and listening to audios;
5) repeating mantras in my head (such as: "remember, include everything");
6) putting awareness on sense perception;
7) counting in my head (as a reminder).

I also used to do other practices that now I don't do much anymore such as:
8- feeling my breath;
9) feeling my body;
10) sitting in stillness.

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mystic1715
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Re: Spiritual Practices

Post by mystic1715 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:16 pm

I do Vipassana meditation for a half hour in the morning and a half hour in the night. During the day, I practice mindfulness. I always bring myself back to breathing during the day after lapsing into thought. I am scheduled to take a Goenka 10 day retreat to advance my practice.

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