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Peter

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  • #400853
    Peter
    Participant

    Hi Helcat

    I grew up in a religious cult while being abused so for a long time I was angry at God. I blamed him for the bad things that happened. I prayed for him to save me and I thought he didn’t answer

    I hope I didn’t trigger past hurts with my use of the word G_d

    I grew up in a very religious community as well thought not a cult. My early experience of  God was as a ‘being’ constantly judging the bad and the good. Follow the rules = good, disobey = bad.  Most prayer was of the petition type — Please help me, let this happen, don’t let that happen… Of course such a God answered all prayers just mostly with the silence of a No.  Growing up I believe everything about me was wrong – life was not happening as I prayed it would therefore I was being punished which meant I was bad and not following the rules as I ought, even if it thought I was.

    Yeah fun times.

    Early on we talked about how in one journey always seems to be a returning home to see it for the first time.  I know that to be true. No matter how far I tried to leave those early years behind they always showed up and so I had to come to terms with my experience. Just hearing the word could send me into depression and I found I was interpreting any new spiritual language through my language of birth. Thus I cannot avoid the word God

    Even though I got to a place where God was no longer like Santa Clause rewarding the good and punishing the bad  I wasn’t able to throw away the word God. I needed a more skillful way to relate to it.

    You might notice that I often type the word God as G_d the intent being to indicate that the word is as a symbol that points past to self to a something, a experience, that is no-thing and at the same all-things.  G_d is also the experience of connection to everything – the drop in the ocean that at the same time contains the ocean.   It is the experience when language drops away,  when duality drops away (language like ego consciousness is dualistic by nature) and we are, G_d is, that stillness that is dancing…. ( Ohm – the sound of every word spoken and will be spoken, all-things – no-thing… have you noticed the silence that from which Ohm ends and starts….)

    What am I saying… I had to let go of my pavlovian reaction to the word God in order to begging to embrace what I was learning and so heal the past. If at the at the end of all our exploring we arrive where we started… it was work that needed to be done.

    Today even my relationship to prayer has changed. I prefer silent prayer, centering prayer…kind of like meditation/contemplation.. (No supernatural Being and pleading involved). Even the Lords Prayer has changed for me. Experienced as symbolic language its a prayer about centering oneself for the day. As above so below – G_ds will be done, As below so above – we are forgiven as we forgive (We are bigger then big and smaller then small, we are influenced by forces beyond our reckoning and we also influence – we participate in Life. Who we are matters) Thus we ask only for our daily needs and return to silence.

    I hope if haven’t confused the matter more. The above the long winded way of me explaining that when I use a word like God I do not intent it as you experienced it growing up.

    #400348
    Peter
    Participant

    @Helcat
    I’ve never tried marijuana but read a pit on the therapeutic potential of some psychedelics under controlled conditions. but not sure I’m brave enough.  My experience with time is that at a subjective and dream level the past, present and future occur together in the same moment. While our objective experience of time is linear. As you say the mind – ego consciousness – needs to make sense of what happens.

    I feel the same way. You can be hurt, angry and still love.

    Interesting as I’ve been  thinking about this a lot lately.  When someone says God is Love what are they saying? to be it begs the question what is Love – if G_d is mystery and unknowing what does such a statement say about our expectation of Love. I suspect when people use the word love they only associate the positive feelings and experiences with the word. How can a negative experience be love?

    My thoughts for what they are worth.
    I’m going to disagree and say Love, at its highest level IS, and as such beyond conditions – G_d is Love – Life is Love – all of IT  the joys, wonders and horrors is Love.  Love at such a level is beyond language and dualist thinking (problem of opposites) Perhaps only Buddhas and Saints 🙂

    At the personal level when people hear unconditional love I wonder if they are thinking unconditional allowing which is not love.

    Love as experienced unconditionally involves having healthy boundaries. A paradox, or perhaps not. To be loved by another to be seen, to be heard, to matter who we are, what we do , what we say must matter and that requires boundaries of accountability, responsibility which create experiences of meaning, purpose…

    The experience of being loved and loving has conditions, boundaries. While LOVE is unconditional. One can, as you noted, Love while, angry, disappointed, hurt, fearful, happy, joyful… and even when, especially when,  holding others and oneself accountable.

    I wonder if that makes sense. words can be so troublesome.

    #400018
    Peter
    Participant

    Hi Helcat

    Enjoying your thoughts

    Now I wonder if that is true. I have had my own thoughts over the years and seen how people are linked and shape each other.

    I’ve been playing with this thought as well. In some of the resent reading their is a suggestion that its not only the people we meet that we are linked to but at some level it is everyone.  A step further that at a cellular / atomic level we are linked to everything from the beginning. We are both the drop in the ocean and at the same time the ocean

    All of this linked to the notion of Karma as a natural reality. Karma not the  misunderstood as justice or  having to do with reward and punishment. The idea is that Karma are the lenses through which we see the world. (we see the world as we are not as it is). From that perspective Karma and memory, cellular memory to mental memories, conscious and unconscious are interconnected. The suggestion was that Karma is ‘memory’ which is a interesting thought.

    The past is memory and the future ‘imagination memory’ the goal then would be to create space from the past and future (memory – karma) and be spontaneously engaged in the present avoiding the creation of unskillful karma. In this way I guess we clean our lens

    Anyway I forgot my point. My thought was that the two notions – being connected to everything and Karma, how that is experienced is connected.

    #399571
    Peter
    Participant

    I guess, the truth in that text is that what we need is within us all along.

    Reminded me of Paulo Coelho story the Alchemist and T.S. Eliot’s “We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring, Will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time.” Ones treasure was always within, just not noticed.
    We work to get to a place where we might notice the jewel that was always present as we journey, our work does not create it, it was always ours. (that might not be the intended teaching of the parable but that’s the beauty of parables)

    Thanks for sharing

     

    #399515
    Peter
    Participant

    I’ve enjoyed following the conversation.

    “He knows the way through the desert and many people follow him. But they get tired following”

    When Gautama becomes Buddha and returns he recognizes his task is to teach what cannot be taught. I think he knew we tend to mistake the path and teachings as the destination. Meditation by a still lake, so wonderful who would not want to stay but meditation is not the destination. The teaching is not the destination.

    In Christianity I often wonder how many worship a book as being G_d. The words as the destination. But I do not find that a moment of rest though it may be a necessary part of the journey. As goes the saying one must lose God to find G_d.  Similar I think to “If you meet the Buddha, kill him.”

    Dancing is a great teacher. When learning to dance your are not dancing, that ok learning is necessary. Dancing happens when you get to forget what you leaned and Dance. What you learned will be their if you trust the body, ears… the body always new how to dance. The mind only necessary to notice the moment.  But the mind will want to step in, judge it. the mind is too slow to dance. So easy to mistake the studio, the community the classes, the learning as the destination.

    Next time you are meditating and stressed watch parts are you are not relaxed, where does your stress rest on your body? Where is your mind, where is your breath. There is no judgment,  just noticing, the mind quiets or it doesn’t, you are not your mind.

    Being relaxed when Meditating is great Meditating while not relaxed is better. 🙂

    #399060
    Peter
    Participant

    @Helcat

    I very much apricate your thoughts and sharing of experiences. I find it helpful to hear how others think about such matters. These teachings and experiences are not the easiest to communicate let alone practice.

    I think at my best day I may manage 1% 🙂

    As a young man I was really interested in the Norse myths. Something that stuck with me was the Odin had two ravens that would perch on his shoulders. The ravens were named Huginn (Thought) and Muninn (Memory). The ravens would gather information for Odin who then used the information to shape the world. The Ravens where also know to be speakers for the dead and Oden the Raven god.  In many cultures the Raven regarded as a trickster and co-creators of the world.

    Thought and Memory, tricksters and creators of our experience of our worlds. In that context we are like Odin a ‘god’ of our creation.

    Interesting how if you look close enough through the stories we tell, regardless of culture, that the hints to ‘enlightenment‘ and or ‘to see and  experience the world as it is’ are present. The Buddha laughs as ravens enjoy their tricks to get us to see.

    #398995
    Peter
    Participant

    A friend of mine had a experience/vision in which she felt connected to every thing. She described it as being very vivid, colorful… and being loved, of being Love.  She didn’t use the words enlightened.  She told me that as time passed she fell into depression. How to return and hold on to such a experience. She  suspected part of the problem was the holding on which was really a desire to remain. The view from the top of a mountain is wonderful but the oxygen is thin. We aren’t intended to live onto a mountain.

    I had a experience equally vivid but not colorful as my experience was complete darkness/emptiness. A emptiness in which there was no fear, no anxiety, a awareness of everything which was no-thing. Perhaps pure consciousness. Like my friend everything/no-thing connected….

    And then I thought “I”.

    Their is a scene in the Matrix where Neo  enters the void of the matrix (here the void was white) and rows of clothes and weapons appear. The racks coming from nowhere and whizzing by Neo only stopping when he selects a item until he is fully dressed. Once dressed he enters the ‘world of the matrix’

    That was what it was like the moment I thought “I” a peace of “clothing” (memory of identity) thrust onto me, forming me and pushed me from the void into the “waking”  world.

    With the thought of “I” I remember thinking Nooooooo!!!! as I left the bliss of emptiness and experience of everything, clothing myself in my fears, hopes, anxiety… memory of I.

    My memory forming my physical and mental bodies and pulling/pushing me into, I will use the words “waken world”.  Oh how I wanted to longed to go back, longed for home, but life is experienced in the matrix and I was formed to experience it.

    I didn’t fall into depression… or maybe I have at times. No experience as been more vivid to my mind

    The moment I think “I”…. I wonder if the clothes (and weapons) were chosen by me or for me?

    The moment I thought “I”, I thought Noooo… what if I would have thought Yes?

     

     

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by Peter.
    #398964
    Peter
    Participant

    That’s Interesting Helcat

    He also suggests that anyone claiming to be enlightened is not, as ego is what claims enlightenment.

    I used to joke that their was a moment in my youth when I was Hip (I’m old) Only the moment I thought I was Hip I no longer was. I feel the same way about those who use the word Woke (the new word for Hip. Nothing new under the sun) 🙂
    Didn’t take long for the word Woke not to mean anything and become a divisive label

    For many the practice detachment has been a about detachment from desire. No desire = no suffering. Probably true only I don’t see how such a practice of detachment would not end in indifference and or unconsciousness.

    For other the practice of detachment is a detachment from ego or negation of ego. In the east their is a tendency to negate ego/individual  and in the west to over identify with ego/individual.  I think the idea of a detachment from ego is really difficult due to language. Try expressing a experience to yourself or others with out a concept of I.
    I would argue that the ego plays a important role in the experience of a moment. When we nullify it we lose that and suffer, when we over identify with it we suffer.  I prefer the word identity to ego for that reason. I get to engage the moment while avoid attaching it to my identity and add unnecessary karma. (I have had moments where I can do this though,,, but if honest I suspect consciously and or unconsciously there are times when I want to attach and experience the energy that creates. But that might be my karma) 🙂

    viewing emotions without judgement or thought

    A healthy detachment from emotions without judgment makes sense. To feel what you feel and letting them flow vice clinging to them and adding unnecessary karma. When you make judgments we tend to attach the judgment to ego/identity so  I might go a step further then Jiddu definition and say enlightenment is the art of viewing the moment as it is, which includes the emotions without, attachment of judgment. Without attachment to identity and or sense of self while fully engaging with Life.

    To joyfully participate in the sorrows of the world“. So far every wisdom tradition I have come across asks that question. Can you engage fully in life, as it is, the wonder and the horror joyfully? Can that be Love? My intuition is that a experience of enlightenment would involve such a realization.

    What is the ‘I’ that could experience such a no-thing, perhaps no ‘I’ at all.

     

     

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by Peter.
    #398955
    Peter
    Participant

    “Before one studies Zen, “mountains are mountains and waters are waters; after a first glimpse into the truth of Zen, mountains are no longer mountains and waters are no longer waters; after enlightenment, mountains are once again mountains and waters once again waters.” ― Dōgen

    Thus we return home and see it for the first time.

    What does it mean to be enlightened? To ‘see’ life as it is? Then the challenge would be how we respond to that Do we respond with a detachment leading to indifference or a Detachment that remains fully engaged. The problem of ‘sudden awakening’ what do we do when such a thing is experienced?

    In the wisdom traditions its important to remember that words our symbols (the finger that points to the moon is not the moon)  thus the word death can be physical death and or phycological death.

    With regards to the book of the dead and reincarnation one could read it as pointing to the now. That we die and are reincarnated many times in a life.  Enlightenment possible with every breath as is rebirth to a lower state of awareness. A ‘sudden awakening‘ could be followed by a ‘sudden un-awakening’

    Many associate justice with the word Karma. A person gets what coming to them. Such a desire that karma be justice would be bad karma. 🙂

    What is Karma?

    We see the world as we are not as it is. Karma the filters/memory through which we see through. Sadhguru argues Karma is memory. “karma is like old software that you have written for yourself unconsciously. And, of course, you’re updating it on a daily basis! Depending on the type of physical, mental, and energetic actions you perform, you write your software. Once that software is written, your whole system functions accordingly. Based on the information from the past, certain memory patterns keep recurring. Now your life turns habitual, repetitive, and cyclical. Over

    Moments of enlightenment are moments when Identity (ego) is detached from memory. One experiences the moment as it is without filters. The martial artist trains so that their reactions are responses. The dancer dances when they stop trying to dance. They ‘forget’ what they learned (no memory)  and allow what the leaned to happen.  The act of free will is a forgetting. detachment, letting go… what ever words work for you,  of will.  = Sudden problems after awakening. Being, Allowing… while  remaining fully engage with life as it shows up.

    And perhaps one step further…. “KNOW ” it as Love. Mountains are mountains and waters are waters. You are the mountain, you are the river. ..

    #397156
    Peter
    Participant

    I feel like were learning the wrong lessons and regressing, Reacting to situations instead of responding to them.

    War is absurd, and this conflict particularly so. Its a lose lose for everyone except for the few individuals who will become more wealthy. And what will they do with the money… by some 500 million yacht that costs a tens of thousands to operate a day and which the spend a few weekend on a year. And of course they need a few houses to sit empty.

    What lessons are we taking away. Lets go back in time when things were so much better even if in no time in history have so many people had it so good. Build bigger army’s, even though the wars of the 21 century have shown how vulnerable the big weapon systems like tanks are to individuals with a cause. Even though its clear the real battlefield is the digital, informational,  environmental one.  Though that is absurd as well

    We are so afraid of losing what we have we will give away what we have to save it.  Absurd

    I have every confidence we are capable of learning better but not very optimistic that learning better we will do better.
    Life is suffering and that’s the way we like it. Desire for more, just a little more….

    #396873
    Peter
    Participant

    Hi Travel (not all that wonder are lost)

    The word “nostalgia” comes from two Greek roots: νόστος, nóstos (“return home”) and ἄλγος, álgos (“longing”).

    Nostalgia is a sentiment of loss and displacement, but it is also a romance with one’s own phantasy. Nostalgia a longing for a home that no longer exists or has never existed. At the same time Nostalgia is mourning and or longing for same imagine future that cannot be. The Past become the Future without a Present. And they say Time Travel isn’t possible. 🙂

    “Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?” That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.”
    ― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

    Nostaglgia is a kind of wound. The word wound so close to the word wonder; a wound is a wonder. Life opening and then healing itself . “Wounds” an invitation to enter into the raw and real of human life and then to wait for the wonder.

    I love the wound of Nostalgia. Hearing a peace of music that sends me back in time to a memory revisited. To see how time flowed from that point. Sometimes painful lessons learned, but having learned something less painful. The wonder of the healing comes from allowing the feelings to flow.

    The longing isn’t for the past or some future that cannot be but for home which is in the present. Be Present

    When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. . . . Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all. – Hermann Hess

    #396852
    Peter
    Participant

     I feel dating is a waste of my time and don’t believe in “love” anymore…

    The Inuit have 50 words for snow capturing all its nuances. Sadly the English language only has one word for love. A word capturing none of its nuances. Without nuance it is I think to easy to mistake the word love for that which the word can only point to.

    What does it mean ‘not to believe in “love”? What of love in context of relationship? How can it be that a relationship that ends painfully, in disappointment, after a time of grieving, can open a person to a deeper relationship to Love?

    A purpose to dating can be to find a life partner but that is only one possible purpose, if purpose is something the idea must have.  Dating, meeting people is a experience, a engagement with life. Love and healthy boundaries are not separate ideals, but  intimately entangled.  Relationships teach this lesson… often the hard way. Learning, growing, becoming… is a attribute of Love, perhaps even a intention of Love.  Thus a painful end to a relationship can still be Love.

    What would it be like to engage with others and ourselves without the demand/desire that it meet a ridged, mostly unconscious, definition and expectation of love and relationship?

    I do not know about soulmates. I wonder if the relationship we have to the idea of soulmates isn’t defined very well.  I suspect we tend to make quite a few assumptions about what a relationship with a ‘soulmate’ should look like.  I wonder how much the desire to control life in order to match our wants and desires is projected onto that word ‘soulmate’… and ‘love’.

    We use words like love and soulmate without fully understanding what we mean by them. Without fully understanding what we are pointing at. What we expect from them. A relationship ends and we say it was not love, the partner for that time was not my soulmate. But what does that assume? What does that say about ourselves and how we relate to those words?

    Words are symbols on a map and a map is not the territory. Like the finger that points to the moon, words point past themselves to something words can’t contain. So easy to mistake the word for the thing it can only point to.  The buddha once said to imagine someone is trying to show you the moon by pointing at it. The pointing finger is what guides you to the moon. Without the finger, you might not notice the moon. But the pointing finger isn’t what matters most.

    The words we uses to point with, matter. Words have power.

    What am I saying…. nothing probably… maybe something. Forgive my intrusion

    #396110
    Peter
    Participant

    Eric

    “The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd – The longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.” ― Fernando Pessoa

    Regret is one such absurd emotion and so as the Buddha noted – Life is suffering even if illusion we make it real.

    Is there any way to stop this? How do u guys overcome regret?

    All the things: mindfulness, detachment, gratefulness, forgiveness, grief/mourning, physical exercise, eat healthy, sleep, drink water… stopping.

    And Or as the Buddha Yoda said – “There is no try only do“.  If regret is getting in your way stop letting it.

    Recognized that you can’t change the past and then stop trying to change it.
    Recognized that a part of you likes to feel bad about the choices made and not made and  ask yourself what is your payoff for doing so.
    Then stop it if you want better… or own it it if you don’t.  Be honest. When you catch your self regressing into regret, take a breath, say hi to the thoughts, have a laugh at the absurdity of the ego desire to feel bad, and let it go.

    No experience or anything learned is a waisted, it was as it was to get you to this moment and you are exactly were you need to be to move forward.

    #394905
    Peter
    Participant

    I agree. so many factors involved when it comes to relationship and I’m not a fan of the current tendency toward ‘either’ ‘or’ reasoning.  Here I take the advice of Gandhi – Be the change you wish to see – and avoid measuring expectations and attachment to outcome.  During the process be kind to yourself.

     

     

    #394886
    Peter
    Participant

    I liked Philips Simmons – Learning to Fall: the Blessings of an Imperfect Life

    Now I find myself in late August, with the nights cool and the crickets thick in the fields. Already the first blighted leaves glow scarlet on the red maples. It’s a season of fullness and sweet longings made sweeter now by the fact that I can’t be sure I’ll see this time of the year again….

    From our first faltering steps we may fall into disappointment or grief, fall into or out of love, fall from youth or health. And though we have little choice as to the timing or means of our descent, we may, as he affirms, “fall with grace, to grace.”

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