Author Topic: One path?  (Read 128 times)

Jess

  • Jess
  • Member
  • Be happy 🙏
    • Vipassana (S.N Goenka)
One path?
« on: November 12, 2020, 10:10:02 AM »
Hello meditators

I've been struggling with this for many years now; I have listened to so many spiritual teachers advice to chose one path and give it all you've got. It makes complete sense to me, however, I find myself drawn to so many teachings. Vipassana has always been my path, but recently I have discovered Isha Yoga, I have also been following Eckhart Tolle, Adyashanti, Mooji, and Krishnamurti's teachings for years now, although the latter are all non-dualistic teachings and so I feel like they are quite compatible with a more structured technique. But Isha yoga, mantras, etc, they interest me as well, I feel like I don't want to miss out on them, but maybe I'm just chasing that "spiritual honeymoon phase"? Can anyone offer some advice?

Much Metta

Jess
🙏

stillpointdancer

  • stillpointdancer
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  • Retired teacher, deepening understanding of Dharma
    • Insight meditation
    • Exploring the results of 30 years of meditating
Re: One path?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2020, 11:48:43 AM »
I was in the same boat. In the end I looked at what I thought was central to the Buddhist path, which was to get a couple of basic meditations that I could keep to for a while, and to get a handle on what the path could be to someone who really didn't want to commit to one school of Buddhism. I still read widely as part of my dharma studies as I think there is a lot of meaningful stuff out there. I spent many years going to a Western Buddhist centre, but stopped going for a number of reasons. I still miss not being part of a sangha, but that's part of going your own way.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Middleway

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  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: One path?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2020, 11:50:32 AM »
Hi Jess,

Welcome to the forum. I too have read and listened to dharma talks / teachings by various spiritual gurus. I was also attracted to one teaching or another only to follow yet another. I was confused and at times bewildered as to who is telling the truth and who is manipulating. The one insight I got which set me free from my confusion is that "I should accept what makes sense to me and reject or ignore what doesn't". Instead of blindly following or believing a guru, we should follow our inner Buddha. This simple insight I follow to this day. I still listen / read teachings of Sadhguru but I reject his meditation technique. Another rule of thumb I use is that I only follow dead gurus. Dead gurus cannot manipulate. I can listen and read their teachings and I can accept what makes sense and ignore / reject what doesn't. Hope this helps.

Warm regards,

Middleway
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Dhamma

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  • May we all fulfill our deepest wish for happiness
    • Zen/Tibetan/Theravada
Re: One path?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2020, 07:22:42 PM »
Hi Jess,

Welcome to the forum. I too have read and listened to dharma talks / teachings by various spiritual gurus. I was also attracted to one teaching or another only to follow yet another. I was confused and at times bewildered as to who is telling the truth and who is manipulating. The one insight I got which set me free from my confusion is that "I should accept what makes sense to me and reject or ignore what doesn't". Instead of blindly following or believing a guru, we should follow our inner Buddha. This simple insight I follow to this day. I still listen / read teachings of Sadhguru but I reject his meditation technique. Another rule of thumb I use is that I only follow dead gurus. Dead gurus cannot manipulate. I can listen and read their teachings and I can accept what makes sense and ignore / reject what doesn't. Hope this helps.

Warm regards,

Middleway

Some of Sadhguru's teachings are spot-on, but I don't agree with some of his teachings.

What is it that you don't like about his meditation techniques?

I am not here to run down or compare for negative reasons. I am just curious.
You are already Buddha

May we see clearly the emptiness of all phenomena

Middleway

  • Member
  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: One path?
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2020, 12:34:36 AM »

Some of Sadhguru's teachings are spot-on, but I don't agree with some of his teachings.

What is it that you don't like about his meditation techniques?

I am not here to run down or compare for negative reasons. I am just curious.

As I said in my other post:

Quote
Any technique that attempts to forcefully "still the mind" without accompanying wisdom is potentially dangerous. Stillness of the mind is the result or fruit of wisdom. If it is achieved in any other way, is not stillness. Forceful technique could potentially lead to hypnosis, psychosis and various other mind related disorders. They are not grounded in reality”.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Dhamma

  • Member
  • May we all fulfill our deepest wish for happiness
    • Zen/Tibetan/Theravada
Re: One path?
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2020, 01:00:06 AM »
Any technique that attempts to forcefully "still the mind" without accompanying wisdom is potentially dangerous. Stillness of the mind is the result or fruit of wisdom. If it is achieved in any other way, is not stillness. Forceful technique could potentially lead to hypnosis, psychosis and various other mind related disorders. They are not grounded in reality”.

That's what Zen Buddhists would say.  Yes, true stillness comes from wisdom.

I don't know if Sadhguru's techniques are at all dangerous; in fact, they are quite helpful for many people in the short-term. But the bigger question is: Is it true silence? Is the stillness coming from wisdom gained in learning and meditation? That's the bigger question. So you're onto something here, friend.

But, again, I know more enlightened people who will say this to you: Enlightenment can come from the body, as much as it can come from the mind. Although Buddhists would disagree, the yogis are convinced that the enlightenment can come from the body to the mind. :-\

Thank you so much. Good answer you have!

Peace and enlightenment.

You are already Buddha

May we see clearly the emptiness of all phenomena

mobius

  • Member
    • vipassana
Re: One path?
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2020, 01:13:57 AM »

Some of Sadhguru's teachings are spot-on, but I don't agree with some of his teachings.

What is it that you don't like about his meditation techniques?

I am not here to run down or compare for negative reasons. I am just curious.

As I said in my other post:

Quote
Any technique that attempts to forcefully "still the mind" without accompanying wisdom is potentially dangerous. Stillness of the mind is the result or fruit of wisdom. If it is achieved in any other way, is not stillness. Forceful technique could potentially lead to hypnosis, psychosis and various other mind related disorders. They are not grounded in reality”.

I can confirm this 100%. This is what I did in the beginning I was (unknowingly at the time) hypnotizing myself and entering very deep states. Lots of weird things were happening, I thought it was good at first, making some kind of spiritual progress or something (though not sure I even thought that way yet at that time). But I quickly developed severe sleeping issues, severe migraine headaches and was essentially going insane. It was one of the scariest moments of my life actually; I'm not exaggerating.

None of that has happened in the ~2 years since I started meditating "the right way". That is; I usually do either ~20 minutes a day of shamatha, focusing on breath, sounds, or body scans.

As to listening to teachers; so far I've listened to quite a few, my favorites or should I say, most memorable teachers I've listened to that said things that hit home for me or helped me personally; Shinzen Young, Ajahn Jayasaro, Ajahn Sumedo, Eschu Martin, Ram Dass... But these people all come from different schools of thought and I don't follow any particular teaching to the letter; I guess I'm still searching for my own path. I'm certain I'll find it eventually; I'm not worried.  :)
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakuin Ekaku

"I have seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it has never come to pass" - Mark Twain

Dhamma

  • Member
  • May we all fulfill our deepest wish for happiness
    • Zen/Tibetan/Theravada
Re: One path?
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2020, 02:29:54 AM »
I can confirm this 100%. This is what I did in the beginning I was (unknowingly at the time) hypnotizing myself and entering very deep states. Lots of weird things were happening, I thought it was good at first, making some kind of spiritual progress or something (though not sure I even thought that way yet at that time). But I quickly developed severe sleeping issues, severe migraine headaches and was essentially going insane. It was one of the scariest moments of my life actually; I'm not exaggerating.

None of that has happened in the ~2 years since I started meditating "the right way". That is; I usually do either ~20 minutes a day of shamatha, focusing on breath, sounds, or body scans.

As to listening to teachers; so far I've listened to quite a few, my favorites or should I say, most memorable teachers I've listened to that said things that hit home for me or helped me personally; Shinzen Young, Ajahn Jayasaro, Ajahn Sumedo, Eschu Martin, Ram Dass... But these people all come from different schools of thought and I don't follow any particular teaching to the letter; I guess I'm still searching for my own path. I'm certain I'll find it eventually; I'm not worried.  :)


I am sorry to hear that your experience was so terrible using yogi techniques. Seriously, that is terrible. I give you great compassion. But, I am happy to know that this terrible state has passed for you. Whatever you were doing was obviously not right for you.

I am a Buddhist - not a yogi.  ;)

Do I believe that some yogis are enlightened? Yes. Many, however, are frauds, but there are also very bad Buddhists. Some people can get mentally and emotionally harmed from these bad teachers (some run cults, even). That said, I cannot say that enlightenment cannot come from the body into the mind. I just don't know.  This path is not for you, dear friend, and that is fine. No justification needed. I want you to be happy and continue on your path.

I practice the Buddhist path, although I take from all Buddhist schools.  There are a few things in the yogi world that I am not sure I agree with. But I still respect the path of the authentic yogis, and see much good in it.

The Tibetan Buddhist schools have a lot of influence from the yogis in India for sure - more so than Theravada, or Zen/Chan/Seon.

May you fulfill your deepest wish for happiness.

Peace and enlightenment.
You are already Buddha

May we see clearly the emptiness of all phenomena

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
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Re: One path?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2020, 10:13:26 PM »
Hi Jess and welcome to the forum.

I think you are a little bit in danger of shopping in the "spiritual supermarket" and never finding satisfaction. Deep satisfaction comes from finding an inner peace and this kind of shopping around leads to the opposite: chasing the highs, instead of letting them find you through development of peace.

The one insight I got which set me free from my confusion is that "I should accept what makes sense to me and reject or ignore what doesn't". Instead of blindly following or believing a guru, we should follow our inner Buddha.

This is very sage advice from Middleway.

I would add that to find one or two meditation practices that work for you and stick with them for a while, as stillpointdancer suggests, is wise. You can combine this with a yoga practice to benefit yourself in a movement meditation.

Kind regards,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

 

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