Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Forgiveness is a path to non-attachment.


When you realize that it is much more pleasant to forgive than to let hate and anger poison the quality of your existence, it becomes possible to forgive. Forgiveness does not mean you trust someone who is not trustworthy, or that you allow people to harm others or yourself with impunity, or that you allow others to treat you like a doormat. Forgiveness means you let go of the unpleasant feelings that poison the quality of your existence. You can take appropriate measures against people who might harm others, but you do it out of love not hate or anger.

Forgiveness leads to non-attachment. When you understand the power of forgiveness, you will want to forgive everything and everyone because it results in a more pleasant existence. At the root of all attachments is liking and disliking. When you want something you don't have or don't like something you do have, you blame fate, the universe, yourself, God, or some such object of blame. When you forgive that object of blame, you let go of your anger and desire and you develop non-attachment.

To experience the truth of this, to develop forgiveness and non-attachment, try meditating daily. Periodically reminding yourself, "Forgive everything", with the understanding explained above can also help.


Copyright © 2016 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

What Spirits say about God.


I have previously posted about the direct voice medium Leslie Flint. Here are some quotes from spirits communicating through him that show spirits believe God.

Alfred Higgins

And here we live together in peace and harmony. And colour and nationality mean noting to us. We're all seekers, we're all children of one God developing and progressing together in love and in harmony. There's none of this nonsense that you get on Earth and none of this narrow-mindedness and this pettiness. There's no friction like there is in your world between religions and organisations and political parties and all that sort of thing. Here we understand, here we realize that we are all truly part of God's kingdom, we're all part of his handiwork and that we're all striving to develop and to better ourselves mentally and spiritually. And we're very human.

Lord Birkenhead

We can implant within Man the truth, and that truth shall make him free, and he shall learn to live and to dwell in peace and in harmony one with another, all nations under one God.

Rupert Brooke

Whereas man should be free and man should realise these things, and this is natural law - that God has created man in his own image and in consequence is indestructible. Only the material and physical aspect of life is destructible in itself, but you, the real spirit of man, goes on.

Charles Marshall

It is the development and it is the tremendous realisation that one must have eventually of how we are all linked and bound together and how actually the very fundamental thing that flows through us all, is the very essence which is of God. And so we gradually evolve more and more to God or become like him.

I do not refer to shape or form, I refer now to the infinite spirit which is the very life blood you might say of all humanity; where we lose in each other ourselves and discover that we are all in a oneness and in accord. And when we have this oneness and accord we reach a stage of spiritual development where we can be considered to be living in a form if you like of paradise because we are conscious of everything around and about us as being not only "us" but "all".



Copyright © 2016 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Love is the Supreme Spiritual Realization


The way to be happy is to love others unconditionally. If you love everyone, no one can hurt you. Love is another way to get rid of the ego which can produce profound realizations. But love itself is the supreme spiritual realization. It is the lesson we are incarnated to learn, the purpose of life.

Love does not necessarily mean you try to please another person. We try to please another person when we want them to love us. Wanting to be loved is a completely different phenomenon from loving others unconditionally.

You can learn to produce feelings of love through meditation. When you experience reality through the filter of love instead of egoism, all the reasons for many unpleasant emotions, anger, hate, jealousy, envy vanish. Existence is transformed, and you will not want to go back to the old way of existing.

At first, meditation is a way to produce love intentionally. But after you experience how love transforms existence, meditation becomes natural because existence in love feels so much better than existence in ego. You will express love naturally because love is a preferable way in which to exist.


Copyright © 2016 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Bliss


Someone on reddit asked about feelings of bliss during meditation. This is approximately how I replied:

Experiencing bliss during meditation is easier than you might think. See this link:

https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/meditation-1#meditation_serenity

Breathe in a relaxed way and notice the pleasant feeling of relaxation. Imagine you are relaxing on vacation and totally at ease in pleasant place with no worries or cares. Does that make you want to smile? That pleasant feeling is the first inkling of bliss. After that you just have to grow it by patiently meditating on the pleasant feeling of relaxation. Smile when you feel like it. When you smile, notice the additional pleasant sensations and emotions that are released. Notice the feeling around your lips. Continue like that. That's all. There is nothing unfamiliar about it or the stages leading to it. Just a pleasant relaxation which increases to happiness, love, connectedness, and equanimity.

This process creates a feedback loop in the brain. Attention to a pleasant sensation results in feeling pleasure because of it. And the attention to that pleasure results in feeling more pleasure because of that. It's like you are happy because you are happy, etc. etc. etc. That is the role of attention. It happens in meditation because people pay attention, but you just need the attention, meditation is only a vehicle. You can do it walking, lying down, whenever you are in a situation where you can relax and pay attention to your feelings.

But read the link. The section on equanimity tells you how, according to Buddhism, this can lead to the cessation of suffering. When you learn to produce this feedback loop, not just in meditation, but in daily life, then anytime you feel an unpleasant emotion, you just accept it, relax, and return to the blissful state. It's that simple, it just requires practice. The way you become non-attached to external things is by becoming non-attached to internal emotions because the way external things get to you is through your own emotions. When you are happy, you don't worry about yourself and you begin to see that self is an illusion that causes suffering and keeps us from seeing things as they really are. Bliss is your true nature. (The brain does not produce consciousness, it filters consciousness.) To realize your true nature, follow the bliss inward to its source.


Copyright © 2016 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Self-enquiry


It is possible to induce a type of non-dual experience of the feeling of being by meditating on the feeling of "I am" (or possibly the feeling of bliss) while by asking oneself, "Who am I?"

SELF-INQUIRY by Sri Sadhu Om at selfdefinition.org:

Chapter 7 from The Path of Sri Ramana, Part One

...

The nature of the mind is to attend always to things other than itself, that is, to know only second and third persons. If the mind in this way attends to a thing, it means that it is attending (attaching itself) to that thing.

...

On the other hand, if our awareness is directed only towards ourself, our knowledge of existence alone is nourished, and since the mind is not attended to, it is deprived of its strength...

...

The feeling ‘I am’ is the experience common to one and all. In this, ‘am’ is awareness. This awareness is not of anything external, it is the awareness of oneself. This is awareness.

...

The pure existence-awareness, 'I am' is not a thought; this awareness is our nature.

...

The awareness, 'I am' is not a thought; it is the very nature of our 'being'.

...

... for those who ... attend thus, 'What is this feeling which shines as I am?' it is suitable to be fixed in Self-awareness in the form 'Who am I?'.

What is important to be sure of during practice is that our attention is turned only towards 'I', the first person singular feeling.

According to Ramana Maharshi, Brahman is sat-chit-ananda, being-consciousness-bliss. He says consciousness and bliss are not different from being. It would seem that meditating on bliss, with the understanding you are trying to understand sat-chit-ananda by asking "Who am I?" would be equivalent to meditating on being. It might be easier for some people to meditate on bliss rather than being because being is a very subtle feeling while bliss produced by meditation can be much easier to focus on.

From Be As You Are The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi Edited by David Godman

...

Q: Brahman is said to be sat-chit-ananda. What does that mean?

A: Yes. That is so. That which is, is only sat. That is called Brahman. The lustre of sat is chit and its nature is ananda. These are not different from sat. All the three together are known as sat- chit-ananda.

Q: As the Self is existence [sat] and consciousness [chit] what is the reason for describing it as different from the existent and the non-existent, the sentient and the insentient?

A: Although the Self is real, as it comprises everything, it does not give room for questions involving duality about its reality or unreality. Therefore it is said to be different from the real and the unreal. Similarly, even though it is consciousness, since there is nothing for it to know or to make itself known to, it is said to be different from the sentient and the insentient. Sat-chit-ananda is said to indicate that the supreme is not asat [different from being], not achit [different from consciousness] and not an anananda [different from happiness]. Because we are in the phenomenal world we speak of the Self as sat-chit-ananda.


Copyright © 2016 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Not-self


When The Buddha was asked if there is a self (an atta, an eternal self or soul), he remained silent. He felt the answer would not help his students understand his teaching.

What The Buddha did say was that anything you can identify is not self and he explained why, and that therefore nothing is worthy of being emotionally attached to.

This can be hard to understand, so here is an explanation:

Suppose you are calm and at peace.

Then someone comes over and says or does something that annoys you. Or something happens that upsets you.

Now you are upset. How did that happen? You didn't want to be upset. You liked being calm and at peace. You wanted to have equanimity and be indifferent to conditions.

Those unpleasant emotions are not under your control. They arise from somewhere unasked. Not by your intentional doing.

Most people consider the self to consist of their body and mind; thoughts and emotions. But if unpleasant emotions are not under your control, if they arise unasked for, not from your own intention, then how can they be "self"?

They are not self.

They are not yours. You don't control them. They come upon you unasked, unsought for.

When you see that, now you can let go of them. Those emotions are not yours, not you. Who cares about them?

This is the illusion that fools people.

They wonder "How can I let go of this unpleasant emotion?"

But they don't see that the very fact that they can't let go of it means that it is not self, not theirs, not worthy of being attached to.

It is like a magicians trick. A misdirection. The unpleasant emotions attract your attention so strongly and distract you from everything else, that you never think that they are not yours.

We all think, "I should be able to handle this without reacting emotionally." But that is the wrong view. That is the trap we all fall into. The right view is, "I can't control this so it's not me or mine." Then you don't care about the emotional reaction and it fades.

Another illusion involves craving. Craving is an unpleasant emotion that often goes unnoticed. We think getting what we want will make us happy but too often craving and chasing after things only makes us stressed, anxious, and unhappy. Seeing craving as not self can help you let go of it just like with other unpleasant emotions.

To see through these illusions, quiet the mind with meditation and observe what happens as unpleasant thoughts and emotions arise. When you notice an unpleasant emotion, craving, or an unwanted impulse, compulsion, obsession. or fixation, say to yourself, in a pleasant, relaxed, friendly way without suppressing or resisting it, something like:

Who asked for that? I perceive it so it's outside me. It's an illusion.

Then remember:

Self is the illusion that causes suffering and keeps us from seeing things as they really are.
Unpleasant emotions tend to feed off themselves. When you are upset, you get upset that you are upset. It's like a feedback loop. Resisting emotions just reinforces the feedback loop with more unpleasant feelings. Rather than trying to suppress an unpleasant thought or emotion, react in a relaxed and pleasant manner. When you see that you did not try to make it arise, that it came unasked for, that you don't own it, that it is not yours, it is much easier to let go of. But old habits die hard, so you may have to repeat the process as the thoughts or feelings recur.

The way to develop equanimity, the way to become non-attached to external things, is by becoming non-attached to internal emotions because the way external things get to you is through the emotions you experience. When you are non-attached it does not mean you are indifferent. When you are not thinking about yourself, you feel more compassion for others not less.

If you are pure awareness just watching the universe unfold, nothing is good or bad, it is only when there is a self that things can happen in relation to that you can have unpleasant thoughts or emotions. When you meditate, notice the absence of mental chatter as you concentrate on saying the numbers while you count the breath or saying "in" and "out" while you inhale and exhale. Notice how peaceful that is and how pleasant that peacefulness is. When an unpleasant thought or emotion arises, try to see how it is the idea of self that that is at the root of the unpleasant feeling. For example, if someone annoys you, is it because their act offends your ego? If you want something, it is because not having it affects your status in the social hierarchy? Who wants? I want. Who likes? I like. Who doesn't want? I don't want. Who dislikes? I don't like. All attachments and aversions, liking and disliking, ultimately resolve to "self". But as we saw above, self is an illusion. Try to see how all unpleasant things resolve into problems caused by the illusion of self. If you are just pure awareness, just meditating on "in" and "out" there is no mental chatter, everything is peaceful and pleasant, there are no problems. But every time unpleasantness arises, self, appearing from nowhere, is at the root of it. Try to observe this transition between "non-self mind" and "self mind". See how the idea of self is always part of any unpleasant thought or emotion. And see how pleasant it is, after releasing the unpleasant thought or emotion, to return to non-self mind. As you do this, learn to abide more and more in non-self mind.


Copyright © 2016 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Non-duality


Non-duality is a term is used to refer to a group of similar experiences that may be described in various ways. Sometimes a person may feel like he is a universal consciousness that consists of all beings and all things. This may be called an experience of oneness, or a unitive experience. Another person might perceive that all that exists is pure consciousness and the self is really an illusion produced when the mind discriminates between different things. This may be called an experience of no-self. Another person may further observe the interdependence of mind and matter and apprehend that there is no firm foundation for either. This is sometimes called an experience of emptiness.

The discussion below could be accepted by a materialist because it describes what people feel they experience subjectively, it doesn't require belief that consciousness is not produced by the brain. However, for completeness, I should point out that most people who have a deep experience of non-duality believe that they perceive that consciousness is not limited to the mind of one person but consists of all consciousness and all things in the universe. The discussion is also not exactly correct. Non-duality, reality undifferentiated by words and concepts, cannot be described with words and concepts. And different experiencers also describe it slightly differently and may disagree on the fine points of what the experience is.

Non-duality

Non-duality is the idea that if a mind does not distinguish between things, then everything can be considered one big thing. When one looks at the universe without distinguishing between different things, everything and everyone is just one big thing. Without a mind to think, "this is a chair", "this is a car", "this is a tree", "this is my self", "this is something other than my self", there is no duality, there is no multiplicity, there is just what is.

For example, suppose you have a room with a chair in it. "Chair" is a human word, a concept that does not exist outside a mind. Without a mind to look in the room and perceive a chair, there is no "chair" anywhere. There is just the undifferentiated non-dual reality. The matter may exist in its form, but "chair", a concept, does not exist until someone thinks "chair" or recognizes a chair. When a human looks into the room, the human sees what is in there and discerns there is a chair. The concept "chair" now exists in his mind. In that instant, duality is created by the mind, for the mind, in the mind.

A person who has realized non-duality, will understand this creation to be the illusion that hides the ultimate reality, the non-dual reality, from most people.

A person experiencing a non-dual mode of consciousness would not experience any separation between himself and the chair. He might, in an experience of oneness, feel that the chair is himself, or in an experience of no-self, feel the chair is the knower.

Once, when a Zen Buddhist teacher gave an introductory class in Zen, he showed a small bell to the students and asked, "What is this?" One student said, "It's a bell." The teacher was silent. Another student took the bell from the teacher and rang it for everyone to hear. The teacher said, "Very good!" The second student was demonstrating non-dual consciousness.

Consciousness cannot exist without anything to be conscious of. So a chair, giving the mind something to be conscious of, creates the mind. The mind creates "chair" and the chair creates the mind. Interdependent, without any firm foundation.

Self is just like that. The mind sees and feels its body and creates "self" just like it created chair. The mind perceives feelings, sights, sounds, tastes, smells, impulses, opinions, awareness, liking, disliking, wanting, not wanting, and creates "self" and "other" just like it created "chair".

In the undifferentiated reality, I and my friend are not different people and we are not the same person. Without mind to think "same" and "different" there is no same or different. There is just what is. Not two. Not one.

Non-duality, when realized due to direct experience and understanding, produces happiness, contentedness, compassion and selflessness. When you make no distinction between yourself and everything and everyone else, you don't worry about yourself, you don't want anything, and you have the same concern for others' suffering that you have for your own. However, the experience does not automatically make you a saint. It does not necessarily produce personality changes that will make everyone love and admire you. And there have been ethics scandals involving a number of spiritual teachers.

Samadhi, a non-dual experience that can be produced by meditation, is the experience of "the before thinking mind" i.e. non-duality, undiscriminated reality, reality undifferentiated by mind. Samadhi is the experience of reality before the mind creates a multiplicity of things and self.

Without the experience of samadhi, the understanding of non-duality is superficial. Without the understanding of non-duality, the experience of samadhi is meaningless. Together they can produce a realization of non-duality.

Further Reading


Copyright © 2016 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.