Author Topic: What does "awakening" or "to awaken to your true self"really mean?  (Read 3860 times)

Mikeler

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I've been going a bit deeper down the proverbial rabbit hole in the last 5 months or so with meditation and spirituality.

I've found out about an experiene or realization or something like that which is called an "awakening to your true self". I've heard most of this from Mooji, a spiritual teacher I'm really fond of listening to.

When being asked about true self, he says it's like a fish asking about what water is like or something like that.

I don't really understand logically what awakening means but I also understand it's not something that is meant to be grasped by mind or logic. It's something like an experience.

The problem is that I'm really attached to the idea of awakening. I see it as a way out of suffering and anxiety which is what I often experience. I've become almost obsessed with becoming awakened. With transcending mind and not being thrown around  by my emotions and thoughts. Being able to observe without reacting.

I'm considering going on multiple meditation retreats in order to go deeper into this and maybe experience this for myself except I don't really know what to expect.

Is it wrong that I'm viewing this as some kind of a tool to help me? As a new fad or new therapy of sorts?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 09:55:02 PM by Mikeler »

Pacific Flow

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Re: What does "awakening" or "to awaken to your true self"really mean?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2014, 12:03:33 AM »
Why would it be wrong to attend a retreat with the intention of freeing yourself from suffering (or dukkha, the original term in Pali and which meaning is wider than the translation suffering)? That's what the retreats are there for.
There you will have the opportunity to observe your inner self including obsessions of any kind. From my experience craving for awakening is just another craving among others. It is a hinderence on the path and you should face it and deal with it.
Eventually in order to experience peace, you will have to let go of those cravings and aversions (your craving for awakening is one side of the medal, the other side is your aversion towards your current, unsatisfying state of mind).
Peace can be experienced when we put all this aside and just accept the reality of the moment within ourselves, when we just let things be.
Accept the fact that you are not an awakened one for the moment, that's your most important step towards awakening :)

Wish you much success!

Mogo

Mikeler

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Re: What does "awakening" or "to awaken to your true self"really mean?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2014, 01:11:41 AM »
What does being an awakened one mean to you?

Pacific Flow

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Re: What does "awakening" or "to awaken to your true self"really mean?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2014, 04:01:02 AM »
An awakened one......ok let me try :p but keep in mind i am not a master of meditation but a student too!
Someone is that much of an awakened one to me, as he/she has managed to defeat his/her inner enemies. Those enemies being craving, aversion, hatred, illwill, animosity, laziness, fear, lamentation, anxiety and such ego-powered states of mind or prisms through which an unawakened one perceives the world.
One that has dissolved the ego and hence has rid himself of all illusions concerning life and perception and has fully realized it's characteristics of nonself, impermanence and suffering i would consider a fully awakened one.
In such a state one would see the world, inner and outer, as objective as it is biologically possible for a homo sapiens.

Not claiming this to be a perfect definition, i am sure there are better ones out there. It's what i was capable of producing ad hoc :)

Renze

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Re: What does "awakening" or "to awaken to your true self"really mean?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2014, 12:48:36 PM »
I've found out about an experiene or realization or something like that which is called an "awakening to your true self". I've heard most of this from Mooji, a spiritual teacher I'm really fond of listening to.

When being asked about true self, he says it's like a fish asking about what water is like or something like that.

I don't really understand logically what awakening means but I also understand it's not something that is meant to be grasped by mind or logic. It's something like an experience.

I googled this Mooji guy and he's an Advaita Vedanta teacher, so he believes in a true self, a pure consciousness or Atman. So his idea of awakening is incompatible with the Buddhist idea of awakening and anatta (no-self), although frankly most Western Buddhists practice Buddhism and meditation as if there were an Atman.

Mikeler

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Re: What does "awakening" or "to awaken to your true self"really mean?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2014, 01:15:55 PM »
But why does it matter if he follows strict Buddhist beliefs or not?

Isn't the "truth" of your true self universal and above descriptions and belief?

This is so confusing......

Pacific Flow

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Re: What does "awakening" or "to awaken to your true self"really mean?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2014, 02:07:37 PM »
Because it is a fundamental difference wether you teach about awakening through realizing there is no such thing as a permanent subject (I or self or soul or whatever you want to call it) and teaching awakening through realizing your true, permanent self. It really is fundamentally different.
I believe all buddhist lineages, be they Mahayana or Theravada, have one basic teaching in common, and that is awakening through overcoming the illusion of a permanent self.
A teacher who teaches the opposite of that can't be called a teacher of a buddhist teaching.
I am not familiar with the particular school you mentioned, but are they claiming to teach buddhist spirituality?

Mikeler

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Re: What does "awakening" or "to awaken to your true self"really mean?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2014, 02:55:50 PM »
To be honest I don't really know what school Mooji falls under or how he differs from Buddhism.

I just assumed all spiritual roads led down the same path eventually, they just use different words.

By the way, didn't the Buddha teach to think for yourself?

Why is Buddhism getting shoehorned into every discussion? Surely that's not the only way on the spiritual path?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 03:00:18 PM by Mikeler »

Dharmic Tui

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Re: What does "awakening" or "to awaken to your true self"really mean?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2014, 04:23:17 PM »
There's no such thing as "the" spiritual path, there are many. As others have said, these are quite opposed, I tend to think the idea of a self is illusory, so the idea of a perfect self seems tenuous.

redalert

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Re: What does "awakening" or "to awaken to your true self"really mean?
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2014, 08:04:40 PM »
But why does it matter if he follows strict Buddhist beliefs or not?

Isn't the "truth" of your true self universal and above descriptions and belief?

This is so confusing......

Once self-realization occurs for you, then you will know that what Mooji attempts to discuss is the same as the Buddha(Gotama), it is a paradox.  Do you realize a self or realize no-self? If you realize no-self who realized this? Walls to divide people if you ask me.

I like Mooji and listen to his sermons often, he has a strong presence and seems to be genuinely compassionate. He talks of pure consciousness as this True Self, Goenka talks of ultra pure mind. This is all just talk and theory, I've never sat a Mooji retreat so do not know how they practice and cultivate this pure consciousness/ultra pure mind, but if all my neighbors were as compassionate as he appears, well that would be a nice neighborhood. :)

Find spiritual people you resonate with, shop around all you like, but when you do find one that really grabs you, I suggest you hunker down and do the work, and when the going gets tough or you hit a wall go to this guide/spiritual teacher receive their advice and follow it, don't go looking for another easier path, walk through the ring of fire, let it burn and cleanse you of impurities, this is the path, and it's a bloody long one, it just burns less the further along you go.


Pacific Flow

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Re: What does "awakening" or "to awaken to your true self"really mean?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2014, 10:10:22 AM »
I just assumed all spiritual roads led down the same path eventually, they just use different words.

By the way, didn't the Buddha teach to think for yourself?

Why is Buddhism getting shoehorned into every discussion? Surely that's not the only way on the spiritual path?

Referring to terminology or ideas from the supposed teachings of the Buddha doesn't necessarily mean one has put their own thinking and experiencing on hold and is relying on the experiences of others in total.
My interest in the teachings of the Buddha started with a temporary experience of an egoless state, in which i felt deep inner peace, and was fully aware of the impermanence of all phenomena. I never was interested in spirituality before that day.
After that i came across the novel Siddartha by Hermann Hesse, and only then i began looking into buddhist teaching.
I found it to almost perfectly resonate with the experience i had.
I started learning Vipassana on a retreat and read some Suttas and Dhamma books.
What i am trying to say is, don't judge too fast. Just because someone is following the eightfold noble path or trying to, doesn't mean they don't think or feel for themselves.
However it is part of us humans being cultural beings thakt not everybody has to invent everything again for themselves. When somebody has learned something of interest for human beings, he/she can share those experiences through word, writing and teaching others practically.
If i find there is already a sophisticated spectrum of thoughts, technique and terminology, why would i try to invent it all over again? Apart from the fact that i wouldn't even be able to :p

That being said, i know from my own experience how confusing all those different approaches to spirituality can be. Even if you exclude all the hundreds of non-buddhist teachings, the cosmos of buddhist teachings alone provides plenty of opportunity to get lost. If you have a clear idea of what you're looking for it certainly helps. It allows you to conduct a more goal oriented search for the right path/teaching. Most of them you will be able to dismiss quickly. With a bit of luck and maybe some good karma you will eventually stumble upon the right path for you. Relax and trust the force for that! But don't be lazy in your search :p
Here again your point and Buddha's point of thinking for yourself comes into play. If you rely exclusively on good faith and devotion to a teacher or teaching, it's more likely to get lost.
The clearer your own idea is, the better the chance you find the right path for you.
My advice is....look for something that is simple but effective. Simple but not easy to practice. Something that doesn't make you feel like you have to be a rocket scientist. Something that teaches morality, calming the mind in concentration, and eventually experientiell wisdom of the true nature of yourself. Something that gives noticeable results.

I hope i didn't write too much, and i hope it encourages you to find your way. It is certainly doable.
Wish you all the best luck for that!

 

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