Meditation and Goals / Help or Hindrance?

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buckeyeboywonder
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Meditation and Goals / Help or Hindrance?

Post by buckeyeboywonder » Sun Mar 18, 2007 6:33 pm

2 Questions Here:

First, I have a routine. I will usually get up, 'decide' I want to go tanning, so I do, then go work - out, etc... are these goals that I should not 'decide' to do? I'm confused about how to 'let things be as they are' when I have to take a somewhat proactive role in my life to actually 'make events occur'.

And also... meditation. Many people say it helps develop consciousness, but wouldn't that make it a goal? The goal being: to get closer to enlightenment, and ironically work against its purpose? Is nothing supposed to have a purpose?

I'm reading The Power Of Now and A New Earth, but it's hard to fully comprehend no matter how many times I read, but I think this forum can help. ("I think this forum can help"... is that a no-no too? And I'm thinknig too much.. ahhh!!)

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erict
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Post by erict » Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:00 pm

Hey and welcome. :)

I like you. You remind me of the way my mind works, trying to figure everything out, questioning everything.

I feel you are losing perspective on things. It seems to me that quite often people read a book like The Power of Now and it just turns into another set of ideals for them to live up to. They see Eckhart Tolle, or somebody who is awakened, and it becomes a state that is now considered "better" than their state and they strive toward it. That's not the point, the point is to be who you are and where you are.

Now, considering you are just a normal person and not some enlightened master, I think it would benefit you to first ask yourself the following questions: What do I want? Where am I and where do I wish to go? Only then you can ask in any meaningful way, whether you should or should not do a certain thing.

Now, for me, one of the answers is that I want more peace in my life, I want it to flow more smoothly, I want to grow and evolve with less pain and struggle. So now I can ask myself about meditation. In that context, should I meditate? The answer is yes, although I do not actually do it. :)

On the topic of meditation, you should listen to Adyashanti's CD. He is very clear. He makes a very important distinction between the various benefits and purposes of meditation. Meditating, for better health/experience of life and so on... versus meditation for awakening.

Goals. Let me just say this about goals. There's nothing wrong with having goals! Just because some book said you should have no goals, does that really make sense? The truth is that what Tolle says about goals isn't that you shouldn't have any, it's just that you shuoldn't seek in them that which they cannot give you. The underlying belief about most goals is that if only I get this or that, I will be happy/happier. but if you live long enough and get enough of what you wish for, you will discover that none of your goals really change that feeling of lack inside, feeling that something's missing, the need for more. The seeking doesn't end by reaching any imaginable object of seeking.

Wow, I feel like I can just go on and on. Maybe I should I should stop here before this gets too long. :)
"Be sincere; don't ask questions out of mere interest. Ask dangerous questions—the ones whose answers could change your life."

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Post by heidi » Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:07 pm

Hi Buckeyeboy - Welcome to the forum.
The questions you raise reveal the paradoxes of being in this kooky world of consciousness. I'd venture to say that planning to exercise is a good thing since our cells really like action and that's what makes us healthy. Most every action does begin with a thought. You can accept things as they are, which includes the fact that you enjoy tanning and exercising. :)

And if you like meditating, well, then, you can accept that, too. ;) The trouble happens when people get all wrapped up in identifying with what they're up to in the world of form. So, say you are exercising so people will like you or admire you, or you're meditating so you can get closer to the goal of enlightenment, and by that very fact you have identified in exactly the way that you're trying not to - and in the trying is another paradox.

("I think this forum can help"... is that a no-no too?
The mind loves making a mess of something so simple. What's even funnier is that we have this forum where we can write about the simplicity of the unmanifested. :lol:
Heidi
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Post by erict » Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:11 pm

Ok. I couldn't help myself. :)

So now when you have some "goal" and you start wondering. That book, it said something about goals being bad. So maybe now I should drop all goals? But isn't that a goal in itself? To drop or stop following goals.

So now all your desires and goals turn into this one desire to get rid of all desires. But that's still a desire, isn't it? So what has changed really?

As for "letting things be as they are". Those thoughts/desires/goals you get about going to tanning or whatever. Are they not a part of what is, that you should let be as it is? :) Look, I'm not trying to confuse you further. But don't get caught up in the words of some book or teacher. If something doesn't make sense, then you are not ready to understand it yet. Just drop it. Read the book, take whatever does make sense, and apply that to your life. Don't turn this stuff into more ideals to live up to.
"Be sincere; don't ask questions out of mere interest. Ask dangerous questions—the ones whose answers could change your life."

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Post by Mike » Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:46 pm

Hi buckeyeboywonder, welcome.

I have an analogy that may help with regard to setting goals and being present, it involves golf.

Imagine that you're about to putt. You line the ball up with the hole, you then address the ball and hit it towards the hole.
As you hit the ball you're not looking at the hole - the goal - you're looking at the ball - the present moment - and you follow the ball as it travels towards the hole, staying in the present moment.

I'm not sure if that makes sense.

Once a goal is set let it take care of itself. There is no need to keep revisiting it or worrying about it happenening or not happening. These are tricks of the mind that keep you from the present moment. The good thing is that once you become aware of them you are present. The mind, in it's futile attempt to maintain it's control, actually makes your awareness stronger.

All the best
"A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet. In the light of calm and steady self-awareness, inner energies wake up and work miracles without effort on your part."
- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Post by heidi » Mon Mar 19, 2007 12:26 am

Mike's advice is perfect. Action in the present. Thanks, Mike. :)
And as the ball veers toward the sand trap, use acceptance, because what is is what is. :)
Heidi
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buckeyeboywonder
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Post by buckeyeboywonder » Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:27 am

Thank you all for your heart-felt responses, they are very helpful.

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