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Everything posted by LaraGreenbridge

  1. Hi, please don't be so critical of yourself. There is nothing wrong with watching your money. I actually really enjoyed reading your post, because reading about how someone else feels about money is not something you get to do too often- because most people don't like talking about money! Think about where your attitudes towards money come from.... most people learn their spending habits form one or both of their parents. But that doesn't mean they can't change their habits. The first step is just to be aware of what you are doing and why you are doing it. For whatever reason, you feel you need to count every single cent. If you lost count, then you would feel anxious. The problem is, you are feeling anxious anyway, even though you have tight control on your money. Maybe take a look at your anxiety and how that operates in your life? What other things make you anxious? It actually sounds like you have more than enough in your life (wealthy boyfriend, big feasts at your parents house), even though you earn little. So thank the universe for supporting you! You have a good life. Maybe borrow a few book from the library about budgeting and managing money- once you educate yourself and have a plan in lace, you might feel less anxious. Then perhaps start having open and honest conversations about money with your parents and you friends and boyfriend. This takes practice, as it's something a lot of people are raised not to do. Once you start communicating, you will probably feel a lot better.
  2. I think you are being really down on yourself for no reason. Lots of 22-year-olds live with their parents- there is nothing wrong with it at all! In my country, people often lie with their parents until they get married- that can be at 30 years of age. The way to repay your parents is to help around the house, mow the lawns, wash the cars, cook some meals and all the rest. If you have some spare money you could offer to contribute to the grocery bill. But above all, thank them and tell them how grateful you are to them- let them know you love them. Your parents just want you to be happy. It sounds like maybe something went wrong for you and you feel bad about it. Things go wrong for everyone at some time or another. It's not what happens to you, but the way you learn from it that counts.
  3. Hi All, This past 12 months I have become very interested in all things to do with spirituality, enlightenment, non-duality and Advaita. It has been a very interesting journey, but in the end, I found it disappointing. The majority of people I have encountered have been people with a lot of unhappy life issues- I mean, basically, I have have come to realize that it is only confused people who are attracted to a spiritual path. (I suppose that sounds very dismissive, but I can explain further, if asked.) The other people I met were disengaged with reality. I suppose they might be 'happy' in a way, but I found them pretty weird. A lot of people I came across just wanted to escape normal adult responsibilities! Since accepting this and getting on with my life, I feel very content, very satisfied with my life and extremely grateful for everything I have and have achieved. I don't feel that I have any unanswered questions. (I suppose this is my ego!) Now, there is only one thing I need answered, just to put my mind at ease. My question is this- were you happy when you felt the urge to follow a spiritual path? If so, did you assume you would become even happier? Have you become happier or is happiness no longer a concern for you, like, you could take it of leave it? Thank you for reading this
  4. Depression actually does exist. That is why people developed a word for it. The condition came first, then the word followed, as a way to describe the condition of being chronically, emotionally down. Having said that, I think the word is being overused. A lot of people who claim to be 'depressed' are only just typically sad, which is a normal, natural emotion and a feeling that comes and goes in perfectly normal, average people. Clinical depression is something else besides typical sadness. It is not something that comes and goes, but an actual condition that requires treatment. Banning the word won't cure the condition, although I appreciate the sentiment.
  5. I don't think you need to avoid anyone unless they are actively abusive towards you. Everyone has their insecurities. If they didn't, they would probably be an unbelievable narcissist and you would not like to be around one of those! I guess you have to have firm boundaries in place and not let other people's insecurities effect you too much. Yes, you can feel empathy for them and offer advice or reassurance, but it's not healthy to get way too involved in other people's problems, either.
  6. I think that when it comes to gender, you are questioning the essentialist argument. That is, how can we define 'male' and 'female' and is there anything completely innate that defines us as either one or the other? How can we define 'black' or 'white' for that matter. If you identify as a 'black' person, does that make you black, even if you are white? The accepted identity-politics discourse being embraced by society right now would say 'yes' - that is, you are whatever you believe you are (even if you appear to 99.9% of the population to be something else.) If you want to deconstruct your identity even further, you can believe that you don't exist at all. Yes, that is your choice. Even if 99.99999% of the population believe that you do exist, you are free to believe that you don't. I'm not sure that the tax man would let you get away with it, though!
  7. Leonardo DaVinci was excellent painter, crafts-person and an original thinker. I don't know a lot about art, but he was considered one of the best. It is worth noting however, that he relied on commissions from his patrons to earn a living... he wasn't just given free rein to go about doing whatever he liked. He was an employee his entire life, from the age of 14. What I'm saying is that like all of us, I'm sure the guy had to make a few compromises in life.
  8. I think when you describe "the kind of person we want to be" then perhaps you are describing a "role". So I don't think you can do both at once, I think they are contradictory things, becoming a certain type of person and dropping all roles. You want to instill self-belief in order to change your behavior in order to become something or someone? Maybe tell us what you would like to become?
  9. When I think about it, my whole life I have had plenty of time to do fulfilling spiritual work, even though I've always worked and built assets. I've likely averaged around a twenty-hour working week my entire adult life.... hence, I haven't crawled very far up the career ladder, but I've been stable and productive. I never wanted material success, if was going to mean working 100+ hours per week. That did not appeal to me at all! However, I didn't want to be on the poverty line, either, as that would be uncomfortable. I chose the middle road. One thing I've noticed is that when you work less, you have more time on your hands to do money-saving things, and so you don't need a high income. Just for example, I have time to mow my own lawns, so I don't have to pay someone to do this. I have time to make my own lunch when I do go to work, so I'm not paying for expensive meals. I have time to ride my bike places, so as I'm not paying to run a car. I have time to mend clothes, and browse the second-hand stores and find bargains. I enjoy all these things and the money I save means I don't need to go out to work as often... so it becomes a very self-perpetuating cycle. As for doing the spiritual work, even though I have the time, I don't always do it. There is no pressure! If you would prefer to sit under a shady tree with a good book, then just do that. In some ways, I think enjoying quite times alone and undisturbed is a good spiritual practice in itself.
  10. "a heart full of love" Such a beautiful statement, @cirkussmile! and I think love leads to compassion, to dealing compassionately with the world, and indeed, with all beings. Love is active. It is useful.... not simply a concept.
  11. @Serotoninluv , It's great that you used the example of Zen Buddhist monks when explaining non-duality. Note that said monks live in highly organised communities with a social hierarchy, customs and processes. They are honoured members of a bigger social order, and live to some extent off donations. They also do some community work and help people in need. They have in no way vacated the physical world! The do not live on concepts alone! They work! They live regular lives. They eat and breath. They even have personalities. I do think there is some slight danger in ignoring the physical realities of life, as though our lives are irrelevant.
  12. @UDT , either way could work out fine for you. You might decide to study for a degree and end up really enjoying university life. It's not all hard work, you can still socialise between classes, in the evenings and at weekends. Alright, I'm biased because I loved university life. I had the absolute time of my life. It was brilliant. But if you chose to plough head-long into your dreams (can you tell us what they are? ) instead of getting a degree, you may end up loving that life-style, too. Maybe it's a touch more risky, I guess. But do you have some support in your life? Like, can you live with your parents while you explore your dreams? That would make it a whole lot easier! You can always study part-time as an older student, if you find you need a degree, but a lot of people lead very successful lives without one. What is you passion?
  13. @seeking_brilliance you wrote "I love the hell out of Sam and thank him for being such a miracle". Good for you, Sam. Don't every give away your sense of identity. You are fine just as you are. Self-Enquiry is just an adjunct to a full and rewarding life, it is not a replacement for that life. When people give up their identities completely, what is left is often psychosis, not freedom.
  14. @Hansu , yes, exactly. "Stop caring about what people think" is not a helpful statement in itself. Human beings are social creatures and we have built a very complex society by being able to co-operate with each other. If everyone was totally individualistic, society would not operate. Caring is sharing.
  15. Great point, @Serotoninluv. what if I were to interpret "consciousness" as the the authoritarian thing in the sky that judges right and wrong? Would there be just a little bit of truth in that, perhaps? And would everyone then go running back to God?? The word "truth"is absolutely being manipulated to serve certain purposes, by certain people. Even within the traditions of self- Enquiry and non-dualism, you will see this word brandished about quite inappropriately. Also the word "ego". When someone disagrees with you, they simply say "that is your ego" as a way to shut down the conversation. It's over-used and it's inappropriate as far as I am concerned.
  16. Good point, @vinett! different teachers define these terms differently. Some of the definitions can be quite vague, too. I absolutely agree with you, it can get confusing. But it is the same in everything.... Notice how in a court of law, for instance, they will get totally bogged down in one little phrase, in a small clause in a legal document of 20 plus pages? Everything will hinge on how that one little phrase should be interpreted in applying the law to decide the case. It's fascinating. I think it shows how much human beings are beholden to language. Notice how Christian scholars spend years arguing over the possible interpretations of different parables in the Bible? Everything is open to interpretation! You will never, ever find consensus.
  17. @Pernani, maybe you will find a job within the self-actualisation field, if that is your passion?
  18. @emind, you probably can't live in the world without caring what other people think, unless you want to live as a hermit in a cave somewhere! ( not that there is anything wrong with living as a hermit in a cave...) Look, there are people and there are people. Some people will be extremely important to you in your life, and you are going to care very much what they think of you. If you didn't care about them and their opinions, you would be a sociopath! You would end up alone, in the end, but if you were a sociopath, then I guess you wouldn't mind being no real problem there! But the vast majority of people will not be all that important to you... and furthermore, you will have no idea what they think of you, unless they tell you. Which usually doesn't happen. People don't like to speak up, because they generally think it's rude to do so. I guess you could go around asking people what they think of you- but you could never be sure they would tell the truth, so it's probably a waste of time. If you want to have stable, loving relationships with genuine, caring and intelligent people in your life, then yes, you should be aware of their thoughts and feelings and take those into consideration. Sometimes you will have to go against the grain.... But your intuition will tell you when.
  19. "Find a job you love, then you will never have to work again". isnt that a Buddhist saying?
  20. Sam is both an idea and a person.... Sam is not only an idea. Sam is Sam. while you are here, in the cosmos, expressing yourself as Sam, you will simply do just that. You will be Sam. Of course, you can change your name, if you like. You can be "Krishna" and wear peace beads and a white robe. No problem... You are free. It is wonderful to be free. You can do whatever you want. (In certain countries, anyway!) Is there something beyond Sam? That 'exists' concurrently with Sam the person? I believe there is. There is the spirit, the soul, universal consciousness, or whatever term you like. Again, you are free. Define it however you wish. Be creative. Don't take my word for it. will you find this thing through self-inquiry? Maybe. Or you might find it through art, nature, music, poetry, prayer, devotional service, or some other new thing that you discover along the way. Whatever you do, do it with good intentions for yourself and for all other beings. if what you choose to do leads to suffering and makes you unhappy, you might want to reconsider that thing. Just be aware of all things, all life. Be truly 'self-aware' in the best possible sense.
  21. Yes, @FrgttnDeer, its when the concepts and our reality merge together that people get confused. Sometimes, people start to not even like who they are....because they start to see existence as irrelevant. Or kind of "wrong". it is not wrong to exist! It is not wrong to enjoy the sensory experience of living in the material world, enjoy friendships and the beauty of life. These is a spiritual component to all this... to all life, even the tricky and absurd things... When people tie themselves in knots, trying to explain their existance.... all I see is suffering. It should not be like that.
  22. @seeking_brilliance , "Everything I do is expressing myself". Yes! The same with me. Even having an interest in self-inquiry is an expression of who you are. There is really no escaping it. If it happened to be true that we didn't exist, that we were never born, that nothing is real, then why would we be sitting here typing into our keyboards? We wouldn't be doing anything! As is happens, most of us had breakfast this morning. Why would we eat if we didn't really exist? We wouldn't eat, we wouldn't drink, we wouldn't sleep.... nothing. We wouldn't have any questions, either. We wouldn't ask ourselves "who am I really?" because we wouldn't need to ask. So on some level, we all do exist and we are somewhat confined to the body and the circumstances we were born into. I don't think it is an "addiction" to be who you are. It just is. When something just is, then you kind of have to run with it.
  23. Wow, @Nahm! can I quote you on that? I guess I basically agree with you....! Would anyone else like to comment on this? I really can't see the point in Non-duality if it doesn't improve your life. I guess you can kid yourself and think that we don't exist, or don't have lives, as such, or that nothing ever matters to anyone. But does it make you happy?
  24. Hi @How to be wise, I agree with you that talking about things can be a distraction sometimes. What I found is that certain types of talk are encouraged in non-dual communities, while questions were generally discouraged. Sometimes, if you ask a question, you get an answer that "deflects", rather than gives an actual answer. This always bothered me, as I have an inquiring mind and asked a lot of genuine questions. I also found that non-dual followers seemed to fall back on cliché quite a lot. They have their little sayings that they repeat over and over again. What they are really pointing to is "don't ask questions". It can have a bit of a 'trance' effect on you too, all this repetition. Sorry if I seem very skeptical! I did have a fraud for a teacher, so I am very suspicious of non-duality now.