Author Topic: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.  (Read 11131 times)

Matthew

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Re: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.
« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2012, 03:46:19 PM »
Yup ... even when we are not "in the now" .... you got it ... we ARE "in the now" ...
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Andrew

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Re: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2012, 08:34:48 AM »
 Downloaded a 'how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?' widget that pops up during the day at my desk, it really is very good to be reminded like this, and then have to answer 'happy, neutral, or sad' . I find myself clicking neutral more often than not.

Last night there was a clarity to the line of 'no self' thinking, a intellectual/emotional comfort in realising all those things that I crave to get done, all the achievements and programs and businesses etc will all get done. ...but not by me. there is plenty more of where I came from, plenty of people to follow, nothing to be stressed about thinking, 'this should be done, it will benefit everyone so much, it's a good idea, it looks like fun etc'. The experiences of doing it all will be  had, but not by me. This feels very peaceful to me. Just do this bit full of peace accepting the end of me sooner or later knowing it means nothing to the experiencing of this fantastic reality in all it's mind blowing complexity. If I don't enjoy it all, someone(s) will, it will not go to waste, infact it is not going to waste now.
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Andrew

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Re: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2012, 08:42:51 AM »
that sounded a little sad or tragic, but that not how it felt, it is very freeing feeling not to be a 'self', not that I have dropped the sense of self, but slowly I'm pulling away it's props, like this one 'I'm so important that it really all depends on me'. It doesn't, hasn't, never will.

Cue Celene Dion / Gorillaz mashup...Titanic / Rock the House. Oh well, couldn't find it, but I think it would be cool, I'll add it to my 'must get done, sounds fun' list.

this will do;

« Last Edit: April 17, 2012, 08:49:02 AM by Andrew »
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Andrew

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Re: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2012, 07:44:30 AM »
I've been obsessed with finding converters for my computer gear today,  i'm still looking for the 'switches'! (you know the ones, they give you control over everything... ::)) but apart from that;

Auditory field has been much clearer today and detailed, it occured to me that I've been neglecting it in favour of the visual and tactile senses, right now I can really hear heaps of detail, it is something i will definitely be concentrating on as this is quite unique for me to have had such a noticeable change in perception (subtle still) in only a few hours. right now I am both bored and somehow happy despite all the conditions saying I should not be happy, like when I answer my haietmoba pop up, i surprise myself to realise that I can't answer 'neutral', there is a definate underlying happiness being release through listening intently which really cuts down the internal monologue. or it could be achievent happiness, whatever, nice.

Nick's advice concerning the moment of 'apperception' being the simultanous bombardment of the senses in this dialogue( http://the-hamilton-project-forum.2294154.n4.nabble.com/Nikolai-s-Practice-Journal-tp3662485p4553976.html )was what sparked me to look at this today. effective.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2012, 07:48:30 AM by Andrew »
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Andrew

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Re: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.
« Reply #29 on: April 26, 2012, 02:36:19 AM »
I think I finally understand what Matthew has been talking about regarding the subconscious...it only took 14 months!

Starting sitting at 5:30am each morning fully accepting that it is going to be ugly. Actually looked forward to it being ugly, as it has really sunk in that this 'stuff' especially the early morning groginess, is the sub-conscious. and the little bit identified in the head as me, the verbal understanding, it the tip of the iceberg.

So, yeah, I was sitting there with that understanding and for the first time I really saw that to be true, felt it in the body, rather than imagined it or agreed with some verbal cue, but really felt 'bleh' and knew, 'this is where it all is, and this is a chance to face it', so each morning, sitting, breathing, relaxing, feeling shit, but not despising it.
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Andrew

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Re: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.
« Reply #30 on: April 30, 2012, 02:14:16 AM »
been running an 'experiment' for the last 5 days with smiling, keeping a log of it on my blog. So far has resulted in some positive things, the highlight being a brief moment of sensory clarity characterised by a feeling of growing taller, and the sensory field becoming more immediate. that was last friday. over the weekend forgetting to smile become increasingly frequent, but something else has become apparent; i can use the memory of that brief moment to help clarify what I am doing right now and use the practice of smiling as a physical cue to remember the general direction of that more pristine 'mindful moment'.

i realise that I can use this memory function to keep the momentum going towards more of the same. No repeats yet, but ironically, I'm glad to be back at work today where i can smile away without getting bombarded with family life.


Happy days.

blog; http://budoreflex.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/smile-you-know-you-want-to.html
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Andrew

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Re: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.
« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2012, 02:33:41 AM »
Ok, I know this is important becasue i'm lost for a way to put it...


I don't really feel any 'pure' emotions, ones I could clearly say this is this, and that is that, or perhaps better said I'm not very skilled at recognising emotional subtlety. For that reason I'm well aware of the problem of 'spiritual bypassing'. I would be the pin up boy for it if a national campaign was ever run. So, It seems time to have a look at the big one;

1) Hope/Distraction/Vampirism of the Future.

All day / everyday, there is a 'future hope' running in me. "If I just learn this, If I just do that, etc, etc". Not sure really how to confront it properly. If feels too important to just go, 'Oh, that's a nice little insight, let get back to this moment', for me, it pretty much is this moment. One big lifelong moment, playing the same tune endlessly.

I'm not depressed or unhappy right now, don't misunderstand, just feeling strong enough to 'feel bad' for a while, to see how it works. It seems to me that I have enough insight into 'no self' in that ther is not a single objection in the beliefs/thinking to what I've seen regarding it. What I don't have any insight into is the true meaning of 'unsatifactory'; it is clear to me that I hope for a future moment of satifaction all the time. whether it is checking forums, serching a new drafting program or piece of equiptment, the hope is always driving me forward.

This isn't something new mind you, I know all about it, but something needs to be done about it. I'm considering simply noting it continually as I don't have confidence that there is enough momentum between this thought/insight and actually letting go of this 'future hope'. If there was a switch , I would throw it.

anyway, just had to write this down, once the bypassing kicks back in, it might be the only place it remains for a while.
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Andrew

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Re: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.
« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2012, 02:59:09 AM »
Actually, I managed to post that without mentioning the real  'insight';

I'm avoiding grief.

Not too many words flow thinking about that. I don't know whether to explore it, or ignore it. I don't know that there is even such a choice. It just seems too significant to not 'do something about', but what to do? , feel it, note it, move on I suppose.
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Andrew

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Re: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.
« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2012, 06:56:06 AM »
decided to note 'future hope' and see what happens. It does bring up the whole concept of 'psychological time' being the a large part of the 'stress'. grief being a function of memory and future hope/bypassing a function of imagination. both are image based with an attached nostaglia / remorse / yearning feeling tone.

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Re: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.
« Reply #34 on: May 14, 2012, 10:19:37 AM »
Hi Andy,

Are you following a specific school/method in your practice? Because in my opinion, continuously compiling our own system with practices and views from different traditions could add to confusion and diffuse our efforts.

While training the mind to stay in the present instead of wandering here and there, we can engage in trains of thought that deal with and ponder upon the wandering, but which are in themselves wandering. I usually try to return to the chosen frame of reference (body/breath) as soon as possible when random thoughts of any sort grab the focus (all of them seem to be about the future or the past).

Doing this returning over and over again countless times can invite a subtle feeling of annoyance leading to thoughts about planning a way to deal with the matter; i use Culadasa`s advice in this situation - to shift focus to the positive side of re-establishing present moment mindfulness instead of criticising myself about having just wandered again. A sort of glass half full thing, creating a positive reinforcement loop.

edit:// added quotation from Sabbasava Sutta: All the Fermentations
Quote
"This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'

"As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in him: The view I have a self arises in him as true & established, or the view I have no self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self... or the view It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as true & established, or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine — the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will stay just as it is for eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.
[...]
"He attends appropriately, This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress. As he attends appropriately in this way, three fetters are abandoned in him: identity-view, doubt, and grasping at precepts & practices. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by seeing.
[...]
Reflecting appropriately, he dwells restrained with the restraint of the intellect-faculty. The fermentations, vexation, or fever that would arise if he were to dwell unrestrained with the restraint of the intellect-faculty do not arise for him when he dwells restrained with the restraint of the intellect-faculty. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by restraining.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 11:04:35 AM by Masauwu »
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Quardamon

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Re: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.
« Reply #35 on: May 14, 2012, 10:30:48 AM »
Hello Andrew,

The way I was taught, especially by my first teacher, is that is is OK and even proper to look into things that come up during the meditation. Just for a short while, as long as they are there. Have an interest in them at the moment that they are there. (That may be only one or two seconds.)
Like this:
One moment: "Oh, there is 'future hope' again. Interesting - this time there is a sense of urgency in the background."
At an other time: " 'Future hope' is there - it is like it has a yellow colour this time."
At a different time: "Wow, 'future hope' burst in - like it needed to be there."
So in a period of a few weeks you might get to know different faces of 'future hope', and you might grow an understanding of the background music in which this instrument is played.

Until two days ago, I thought I never do mindfulness during ordinary daily life. But what I just described is how I go about with the sense of grieve or even despair that I can feel when I cook. (That is once or twice a week.)

I like it that you mention spiritual bypassing.
And I wonder if that is what you do if you write:
"    It does bring up the whole concept of 'psychological time' being the a large part of the 'stress'. Grief being a function of memory and future hope/bypassing a function of imagination. Both are image based    . . .   "
Do I sense a tone here of not-wanting-grief-to-be-really-there? Grief might be image-based. But putting it off as image-based is an activity which is called: putting-it-off.
In fact I am encouraging you to be very precise. Very precise in the naming of what it is that you do or that you experience.

Andrew

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Re: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.
« Reply #36 on: May 15, 2012, 02:33:36 AM »
Hi Andy,

Are you following a specific school/method in your practice? Because in my opinion, continuously compiling our own system with practices and views from different traditions could add to confusion and diffuse our efforts.


Friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.  ;) Literally, my 'school/method' is mainly what I read on this site, DhO and Hamilton Project, and very occasionally (when I can hold my attitude together long enough) the AFT. That of course is a wide swathe of alot of traditions, but there is an underlying unity in it all that.

I allow the basic 'inconsistantancy' of my personality to be what it is -twisting away-, going back and forth, roaming around, but always mindful of it. When something produces results approximating the descriptions by the likes of Nick, Matthew, Katy, (and many others), it goes into the tool box of what works. 

So that means when I sit it is mostly as informed by VF,  sit, breath, let go of grasping at things, notice, basically build mindfulness. I do not aim for any altered state or jhana (any more) if anything I have settled into what simply increases calm off the cushion. I do 'actualise' what I feel though, whatever is going on, I deliberately bring it back to the room. maybe zen like? I have no training in that, just my impression of it.

when I'm off the cushion I'm using some sort of pointer (there are a few) to snap me out of 'myself', and back into the present/actual world.

If it could be called a tradition then it is roughly pragmatic dhamma, i.e if it gets results (ending of stress) today, then great..whatever success I have with a method I don't try and hold onto beyond whatever I remember to do the next day. I find the wandering is not the problem, the chasing and grasping is. (second noble truth is the origination of stress being a fundamental desire, wandering is a fruit of that, not it's cause.) I am identified with this 'understanding faculty', that is my particular fermentation of stress- so it is then important to let go of 'understanding' and appear the fool (even to myself), there are no points for being right...

there are  'yogis' who have noted consistently without reward (i could provide links) and I'll bet it's not technique that is letting them down, but identification. They are a 'noting meditator in such and such tradition' and so in that instant undo whatever good they have done. It is a clinging to views. why else would it take decades to achieve something that otherwise take others a very short time? Some never get that they are 'building identity view' when they should be letting it go.

I'm feeling clever right now, and i realise also in that instant I am not. If I was truly 'clever' i would be free right now. hence I look at the feelings right now and think;

"perhaps it is wise to delete this post and appear the fool."

My own identity view is that 'I understand'. so without a teacher, someone who actually is present to guide, i knowingly let uncertainty rule.

'should there be something more to this grief? I should atleast ask, as I clearly do not know what to do'  What Quardamon says is what i'm inclined to suspect, that the twisting is 'putting it off', that the sorrow is more of a 'pure experience' that I simply do not know how to navigate. So hence I never fell it, as I twist reality to avoid it.

I should say that my grand mother died last Wednesday and I don't feel sad. Yet I know I am nowhere near advanced enough for that to be a good 'dhamma' thing, hence the idea of 'spiritual bypassing'.








« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 02:39:24 AM by Andrew »
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Andrew

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Re: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.
« Reply #37 on: May 15, 2012, 03:11:41 AM »

Do I sense a tone here of not-wanting-grief-to-be-really-there? Grief might be image-based. But putting it off as image-based is an activity which is called: putting-it-off.
In fact I am encouraging you to be very precise. Very precise in the naming of what it is that you do or that you experience.

Probably more, not wanting 'to want' the grief to be there. I'll admit that a part of my conditioning is the idea/desire to cry deeply, and I imagine this to be part of the future path; the idea and proto-experience is more pleasurable than the present feeling (despite it being grief I am fantasying about) so i hold back- i think.

You know that just about answers what to do; let it generate 'deliberately', allow the feeling to develop through whatever imagery, knowing that it is closer to 'happy' than what I am feeling generally. Ironically, perhaps right now I am happier 'sad', that the deeper happiness is to be truly sad!. The reason I am uneasy, despite the cleverness of this all is it will take actual effort to get there, default mode is to avoid it. I am inclined to hold it as a future fantasy,  a cathartic future 'hero' moment of great change.

« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 03:14:05 AM by Andrew »
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Andrew

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Re: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.
« Reply #38 on: May 15, 2012, 04:27:54 AM »
Thanks Quardamon, I will use your advice and be very specific when noting to include all the subtitles that are arising; contemplate the note properly each time.
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Andrew

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Re: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.
« Reply #39 on: May 16, 2012, 12:48:07 AM »
I was given some lessons by life about this 'spiritual bypassing' subject yesterday and it simply comes down to 'doing the right thing' no matter what emotion is attached to it. So it means going through with a police report over a minor accident and reporting it to the insurance company despite the fact the whole episode is upsetting (my wife was in a minor carpark incident, which turn out to be a case study in racism and police incompetence)

It is through manipulating the fear responses of others that humans control each other. Bypassing is block ones eyes to that and avoiding situations were one would be subject to these overpowering forces. It was bypassing of me not to even want to fly to the eastern states for my grandma's funeral as i didn't want to pretend/potentially feel grief. But in feeling some of it, I realise there is a purity of experience in 'grief', and today 'fear/anger' which are where some real 'spiritual' work can be done.

thanks for the advice, and, Masauwu, I have been contemplating your exhortation to technical consistency, not quite sure how to apply it, but it has an appeal, the issue for me is always one of finding a source of instruction that isn't loaded down with a cosmology I consider complete crap.
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Andrew

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Re: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.
« Reply #40 on: May 16, 2012, 01:43:58 AM »
"My motto is, If you can't be
disciplined, be clever!"

Shinzen Young... :D

Considering this guy as a tradition/technique source. (I did say my current tradition is 'friends tell me things, sometimes i listen' - turns out I'm listening this time)
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Quardamon

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Re: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.
« Reply #41 on: May 16, 2012, 12:01:23 PM »
   . . .   , I realise there is a purity of experience in 'grief',    . . .   
Beautiful. I mean: That is a beautiful insight. And yes, at an other time there are other things in it.

It is through manipulating the fear responses of others that humans control each other.
I love that one.

flowair

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Re: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.
« Reply #42 on: May 17, 2012, 06:54:54 PM »
Very nice a thread, I enjoyed reading through it all. I doubt, though, that contemplation (guess you mean by that in a nut shell: calm looking and thinking on a higher, kind of a vertical level, don't you?) would work for me heading to understand my self*, my mind, the phenomena around me which they used to sum up under the term "world", "dharma", "universe" and everything that might or might not be beyond, and the relation in between. It is just the fact that I usually cling to thinking anyway, to building theories and even huge, complex mental constructs, engineering machines in the mind partly all from scratch and partly inspired from some piece of media, software. Some day I am at risk to starve from an thought overdose, or getting hit by a car or so as I was absent-minded. Am I right that you would not recommend contemplation to us thought-addicted neither? Rather I guess I am better off breathing and regarding upcoming thoughts simply as reminders for another breath-in-breath-out to be aware of.

*) me/my/self: in a first careful approach, the person addressed when everyone else says "you" and might refer to someone else overloaded with their projections and bias, really not seeing that bunch of dancing elements as it is. Luckily I not only happen to be that person, but also can manage being that person as noone could nearly as well, and chances are I get a clearer look on that very dance of elements, just need to find a good position to sit.

Be now,
flowair

Andrew

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Re: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.
« Reply #43 on: May 18, 2012, 02:06:27 AM »
Hi flowair,

I'm glad you have enjoyed the thread, that is one of the reason i share. (the other being some sort of accountability).

contemplation in context to what I was doing a few months ago was all about breaking down the 'social identity'. So actually the reverse of building anything. this issue i had/have with it is gets off track quickly and like you point out can lead to heedlessness. who is in control after all?  ;)

I would recommend questioning ones beliefs, views, and challenging oneself, though I would also recommend keeping close watch of the 'fruit' of those efforts. I've come back to a more straight forward mindfulness practice as it leads to better fruit, though I cannot discount the various insights that pushing the limits of internal questioning have gained.

If anything it stops ideas solidifying into beliefs by having the attitude of inquiry running in the background. The main idea that needs to be kept fluid is the concept of there being 'no self you can find' and investigating those things that present 'self feeling/thought', this is by all reports the core finding of those who are advanced, so it is worth keeping in mind and perhaps spending some time 'contemplating'.

a good method is Direct Pointing, that can really bring the thinking mind back to the core subject, it can be upsetting though.
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Andrew

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Re: Calmly going forward- Andrew's practice thread.
« Reply #44 on: May 29, 2012, 05:02:11 AM »
Pure Emotions vs the Dirty Buzz.

Starting a week or so ago, it's a few posts back anyway, I noticed the relative purity of a moment of grief, vs the usual whatever/bored/suppressed anger feeling that simmers. Today noticed, using the more complex noting method Quardamon suggested, was able to reproduce the experience of 'looking for acceptance as a child' by simply noticing the thoughts obsessing over CAD programs (uselessly) and noticing the feeling to stop doing it, then by extention noticing that I had been obsessing over something 'artistic' all my life, and sort of 'felt remembered' what it was like to pick up a pencil as a kid and draw, all the while looking for acknowledgement of others.

This is a significant step for me, to begin to understand a disciplined way of 'insighting' without getting caught up in  proliferation.

Following those moments, latter in my walk, I noticed arguing with my wife in my head, without a 'pure emotion' there. This was an insight as well to see the influence of feeling, without actually feeling anything 'distinct'.

I think/feel a certain confidence going forward that I can avoid (!) bypassing using this technique.  Edit: spiritual bypassing being one of my suspicions when reading about many attainments in the mediation scene. I don't criticise them directly as i don't know either what 'bypassing' really is, or what can be attained without it, and even if it's an issue, it's just a suspicion that such a thing is possible, and that it would be something like the 'knot that cannot be undone' Matthew spoke about last year in passing. 

i'm back to using HAIETMOBA more, but now instead of 'trying' simply letting the experience answer the question as much as possible, and also to let the question hang more, watching the verbal self-definition spin al little, perhaps apply a label or two,  and carry on.

The whole episode clears the way to be genuinely interested in things without the hidden emotional baggage sabotaging finding moments of (useful) joy in tasks.

Also, (I'll stop soon) been considering having clearer goals in all of this practice. It seems that those who know what the are aiming for are more successful in getting results (surprise, surprise) which leads me to question my peculiar mix of buddhist/post-mystic/pseudo-scientific/post-modern/ex-christian 'spirituality'. I feel/think inclined to start being more specific in my nomenclature in general, avoiding ambiguous terms and otherwise divisive ideas on the other hand. For example, I resonate with aspiring towards 'baseline shifts' as often mentioned my Nick and others, as apposed to 'Stream Entry' or any such buddhist ideal.

One thing I am becoming more sure of is that the future advances in human happiness will not be called by any name so far associated with any religion. I am also more convinced than ever that I can not continue to be semi-buddhist. Basically the more I practice and read the more divergent the 'dhamma' becomes. So much so that I find it improbable that all the different 'dhamma' originated in a single man's teachings.

i find this important as so often I'm lulled into a false sense of sureness because 'buddha said this' or it is in an original text. This simply is not practice that is productive. So much so that it is all but useless to even discuss any linage of thought or practice without imagining a 'god' like originator. I say that for my own sake (to see it on screen and not to forget it) than to try and convince anyone.

i do try and keep journal entries specific to the forum I learnt a specific aspect of practice from, so this last part is actually really meant to be somewhere else. I should move it, but i won't for some reason, possibly trying to avoid the image of thinking myself so important that I should organise it so neatly at all.

« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 05:11:12 AM by Andrew »
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