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Everything posted by aurum

  1. *Warning, sungazing can be potentially dangerous for your eyes. Use all described safety precautions* What is Sungazing? ~18 months ago, I came across this practice called sungazing. Some of you may have heard of it, but for those of you who haven't, let me explain what it is. Sungazing is an ancient practice that recently started getting popularity due to the work of a guy named Hira Ratan Manek (HRM). The idea is simple: all things are energy, and we can absorb the energy from the sun through looking at with our eyes. Specifically, here is the practice HRM recommends: Wait until what photographers call the "golden hour", which is one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset. This is to prevent damage to your eyes, so take this seriously! Stand with bare feet on bare earth (sand, soil) and simply look at the sun. On the first day, look at the sun for only 10 seconds. Everyday afterwards, increase the time you look at the sun by 10 seconds until you get to 44 minutes. If you did this everyday, it would take you 9 months to get there. Once you get to 44 minutes, stop. For the next year continue to gaze 15 minutes a day, or just walk on bare earth with the sun on you. Say goodbye to sungazing, you're finished Here is a video of HRM explaining the practice in more detail: My Sungazing Journey I had never heard anyone recommend sungazing before, so I was intrigued. Old beliefs like "staring at the sun will damage your eyes!" came up, but I decided to let that go. It seemed incredibly simple and the claimed benefits were pretty wild. Some of these benefits included: Mental, physical and emotional healing Spiritual development Improved eyesight Reduction or complete elimination for the need to eat food More energy, less need for sleep. Since I just finished my initial 44 minutes, I'm going to go through each one of these benefits and explain what my experience was. Claim: Mental, physical and emotional healing Result: I've definitely noticed a change for the better in all of these areas. It was very common that after a long sungazing session, I would find myself having an emotional release. However, I think HRM's claim that sungazing will fix all your physical and mental problems is a bit exaggerated. Claim: Spiritual development Result: Positive. To me, spirituality and well-being are one in the same. So since I saw an improvement in my emotional and physical health, I'd definitely say there were spiritual benefits. I also became much more interested in nature during this time. Claim: Improved eyesight Result: I have pretty bad myopia, and I can't say sungazing improved my eyesight at all. However, it also didn't destroy my eyes as most people would assume. Claim: Reduction or complete elimination for the need to eat food Result: I also can't say I noticed any difference here as well. Another claim that may be exaggerated Claim: More energy, less need for sleep Result: I do feel like I have more energy overall. Sometimes after a session I would feel particularly "plugged in" so to speak. I also noticed that when I started a session, I would usually start yawning. Yawning is a classic sign of an energetic release and sudden upshift in your vibration. However, I still sleep the same amount as before. Overall, I think sungazing is a beneficial practice. It takes little to no effort to go outside and look at the sun, and you will see improvements. However, my results could be biased. I also do a lot of other spiritual practices. So it's hard to isolate sungazing as the cause of some of the benefits I've seen over the last 18 months. For that reason, I think it would be awesome if more people on this forum would be willing to give it a try and post their experiences. Sungazing has the potential to help a lot of people but there's little to no mainstream scientific research on this stuff. So this could be like an underground group experiment. Who needs grant money? TL DR; Sungazing works, but potentially not as well as some people claim. More people should try it!
  2. Book Name Quiet by Susan Cain Rating Sit Down and Read One Line Summary Keep ya head up introverts The Setup Have you ever been told that you’re “too quiet”? How about that you need to “stop thinking so much” or “be more social”? I personally heard all of these at different points in my life. It was painful to think that for some reason, there was something wrong with me. Although I didn’t have trouble making friends and enjoyed the friends I had, I also didn’t seem to enjoy large scale socializing as much as some kids or even my own family members. Reading a good book, listening to music or many other solitude activities were often far more appealing. As I grew older, it became obvious that this was unacceptable. The quiet were simply second class citizens in a society that prized outgoingness and socialability. And so I pushed myself hard to expand the limits of my personality, often to great success. Yet still I had a feeling that there must be something wrong with me if I had to force myself to do this. That was before I took a Myers Brigg test, scored INTJ, and discovered that I was far from alone. In fact, there was an entire psychological field based around what I was called introversion. Introversion is a physiological and psychological trait that determines a person’s responsiveness to outside stimulation. People more introverted tend to prefer less stimulation and people at the opposite end, extraverts, tend to prefer more. This shows up in a variety of ways in people’s lives, but for introverts, one is in their tendency to be quiet. Quiet by Susan Cain is the introverts manifesto. A self-described introvert, Cain suffered from much of the same confusion I did growing up about her quiet personality. Many years older and many ways wiser, she wrote this book in order describe the power and benefits of introversion in a society that has chosen to glorify charm, social grace and snap decision making. What Quiet is not is a book about “who’s better?” between introverts and extraverts. Cain acknowledges that both personality types have their merit and that most people exhibit both introverted and extraverted qualities at times. Rather, this is about evening the playing field and letting introverts know that they’re not alone. Or maybe even more important, than there’s nothing wrong with them. Why it’s Awesome Even though the story I described above about my childhood is accurate, it’s not the full picture. One of the first things you discover in reading Quiet is that people can act in an extraordinary range of behaviors, and to put rigid rules on what an introvert and extravert should look like is a mistake. I was no different. I’ve felt the pull of introversion and extraversion my entire life. In college, I’d be at a fraternity party on Saturday night where it might seem like I live for socializing, hitting on girls and beer pong. And then on Sunday, you’d find me alone in my room reading something. Now I have a book blog where I write about books. Let’s just all agree that that’s about as nerdy and introverted as it gets. And yet, if I don’t get my time to socialize and express that wilder, extraverted side of myself, I’ll often go nuts. When I’m done with a night out with my friends, I feel like I often have MORE energy, which is a classic trait of extraversion. Introverts conversely feel the need to get away and “recharge” after extended socializing. So what is going on here? Is this whole introversion/extraversion thing a scham? Did I teach myself to act this way? Or am I just a walking contradiction? The truth is a mix. As Cain points out, there are introverted people who live highly social lives. They’ve managed to construct an extraverted, social persona in order to deal with the realities of the world. So much so that for many people, the line between acting and “being” would seem very blurred. It could be that this is what happened to me. But regardless, what definitely seems true is that I was at least born with a predisposition towards introversion, even if my personality has become far more complicated as I’ve gotten older. One of my favorite parts was when she describes her experience of going to Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within event. I’ve been to UPW, and Cain’s description is hilariously accurate. Extraverts everywhere, demanding high fives and cheery smiles. Tony, the king of extraverts himself, telling you to scream at the top of you lungs and “make your move!”. It’s an introvert’s nightmare at certain points. Don’t get me wrong though, UPW is amazing. Everyone should go. The point Cain is simply trying to make in her book is this: what does a society look like that has made Tony Robbins king? One that values extraversion over introversion. This is further seen in the response by foreign immigrants to the West. Cain interviews many students from Asia who go through immense culture shock when arriving to United States. They don’t understand why socializing and talking have such high value when in Asia, such talking is almost seen as disrespectful. Consider this quote from the Tao Te Ching: “Those who know don’t talk, and those who talk don’t know”. This is a complete 180 from Western culture, where we actually correlate knowing with talking. How many times have we’ve believed something just someone seemed to know what they’re talking about? “Confidence is the key” everyone says. Yet this same person in certain parts of Japan, China or Korea might be taken as a fool. One thing I’ve learned is that the more you learn, the less you realize you know. There’s a humbleness that often comes with knowledge, a realization that you’ve been wrong many times in the past and will continue to be wrong. So why do we assume that “confidence” automatically dictates knowledge? Some of the least knowledgeable people I know act with confidence. The reason for the culture differences between the East and West I believe actually boil down to their differing views on spirituality. For Asian countries with traditions like Zen and mediation, introversion is a far more desirable characteristic than extraversion because Enlightenment requires examining yourself. Ultimately in Enlightenment, all beliefs are shown to be false, even your beliefs about falseness. So why talk like you actually know anything? Cain also cites studies that show that introversion may be a main cause of the mind’s ability to focus. Extraverts crave lots of external stimulus and often like to spread their attention around, while introverts prefer to keep their attention in one spot. Related to this, she quotes Steve Wozniak’s famous advice to “work alone” if you’re a creative type and busts the myth of the productivity of “brainstorming”. I could keep giving examples from the point, but hopefully you’ve gotten the picture. If you’re an introvert, you actually have unfair advantages in many areas over extraverts. Use them well. But what about the other side of the argument? Clearly there is a reason extraversion has become so highly valued in our society. What should an introvert do when faced with a situation where he may have to act extraverted? I have a very unique perspective on this of my own, but let me explain Cain’s advice first. Cain argues that if you’re an introvert and your calling, your passion, requires you to be an extravert, then you will have to learn how to expand your personality at times. For instance, despite being terrified of public speaking initially, Cain has become an exceptional public speaker and is incredibly charming. However, stay true to your nature and be sure to structure plenty of opportunities for yourself to “recharge”. I like this advice for several reasons. One, is that Cain isn’t making excuses just because physiologically she may be an introvert. If you have something you love to do, but you rationalize not doing it because “I’m an introvert”, that’s fucking bullshit. You’ve now become a victim of something which was originally meant to help you and you’re just trying to protect your identity. At the same time, it’s realistic advice. Much like a body needs sleep, because introversion is physiological as wells as psychological, you’re going to need to recharge. And if you don’t, you will likely burn yourself out. Why Does It Suck I don’t believe Introversion and extraversion are as fixed as Cain argues. For instance, there’s a section where she talks about how introverts tend to “self-monitor”, i.e be self-conscious. But I know from my time doing game that self-monitoring is completely able to be pro-actively shut down by certain actions. Same thing with needing to recharge, feeling shy or any other qualities associated with introversion. In fact, I’ve found these qualities to be so flexible as to question whether or not it’s even worth placing people in introverted or extraverted categories. There are better models to view the universe through. The Wrap Up Amazing book for anyone. If you have tendency for introversion this book will give you some perspective on your gifts you may never considered before. And if you’re an extravert, this will give you a better perspective on some of your potential weaknesses, as well as how to handle introverts. Either way, you’ll get insight into our current culture that few people have been able to see. Probably because they wouldn’t take a second to stop talking and look.
  3. What's up everybody. I wanted to write this to let everyone know that moving forward I will not be participating on this forum anymore. I joined this community several years ago, the day Leo opened it up. I was in the middle of a huge spiritual crisis. Maybe the worst period of my life. There was no one I knew who could relate to what I was going through, except this group of strangers on the internet. It was a big source of support for me when I needed it. I don't know if I would have been able to turn things around to the degree I have without it. So thank you to everyone who has contributed to this place in the past and who will continue to do so in the future. That's what has made this a high quality place to be. This also doesn't mean I'm disappearing off the face of the planet. My plans are actually bigger than ever, which is why I gotta move on. So if you liked some of the things I posted and want to find me, I'll still be active on social media. Keep the quality of the place high. I know it's tempting to move into arguing and negativity on a forum, but don't get sucked into that. That's what will really show that there's something different about the ideas in this place. -Austin
  4. @RoerAmit It sounds like you already know the pros of cons of each decision. Which direction are you leaning?
  5. I get all that, but what I'm not seeing is how you're going to start a business when you're living in poverty. A business requires money.
  6. Unfortunately it's just not that simple. Anyone who teaches personal development will tell you that you must control your influences. Just like a group of toxic friends can bring you down to their level, the same thing goes with this forum. Beliefs and energy are contagious. It's one thing to stomp out an opposing view because you're close minded or it conflicts with your agenda. It's another thing to realize that a certain perspective doesn't help and to distance yourself from it. I've thought about locking many threads for just this reason. When I see someone just spreading fear, complaining, conspiracy theories or other nonsense, my instinct is to stomp it out. Because I know it won't help people to be infected by that stuff. Still, I usually don't because I know it doesn't look good and that I need to be able to give people the freedom make their own mistakes. But it's always a gray area. For anyone who doesn't like how this forum is run, I would challenge you to actually try and run your own organization. There's a lot more challenges that go on behind the scenes than most people realize. And you'll have a lot more empathy for why things are done the way they are.
  7. @thematrixyz It does work, but there's nuance to it. It's not the same as wishful thinking. First off, if you just visualize and take no action, you're doing it wrong. You generally should be taking so much action that you look at other people and it's like they're moving in slow motion. Especially if you're prone to overthinking like probably most of us on this forum. The second piece is that it needs to be detailed. The more detailed and specific, the more you can "lock on" on that goal. What do you hear? What do you see? What do you feel? The third piece is you need to inject positive emotion. The better you feel about the goal, the more you're going to move towards it.
  8. No it's not. If you're doing something so horrifically bad that it actually gets you arrested, you have bigger problems than picking up girls. I've never even come close to having something like that happen. And neither have any of the guys I know who do it regularly. This fear mongering is just more excuses for why you can't do it.
  9. @F A B You can turn anything into a field of mastery, even driving a bus. The key is just to become obsessed with doing it the best you can.
  10. I would start with a job if you don't have one already. What is it specifically that you imagine yourself doing?
  11. This is just a model, but it might be helpful to think about it like this: Authenticity comes from grounding. You want to do the kind of spiritual work Leo talks about to make sure you're not "trying" for an outcome and coming off as fake. The more grounded you are, the more energy you can put in to "ramp it" without it coming off wrong. From the little bit I watched, I think you're pretty good though.
  12. It's all good. Then I would take a deeper look at why you see the world that way. Because that's not accurate.
  13. Yeah I was only sort of kidding. I actually think you should do it.
  14. Sounds like you do actually know. That does sound perfect, but I wouldn't expect perfect. I would expect things to be messy. My situation is different than yours, but I've done all sorts of jobs I didn't like in order to finance what I'm doing. It's a day to day challenge. No problem brotha.
  15. @Alex bAlex Offering an internship program and having a girlfriend does not qualify you as a cult. Stop spreading conspiracy theories.
  16. @Mezanti Good. Too many intellectuals on this forum, more action is key.
  17. That's true. Which means you'll have to get some kind of job to support yourself while you work on what you really want. The good news is that you live in the age of the internet, and a lot of what you need to do can be done from your cell phone and your room. And what about what you want? Where's your voice? I know this sounds harsh but forget about her. It's not her life and it's not her job as a parent to tell you what to do. If she doesn't like it, she'll have to deal with it. It sounds like you're justifying pursuing dentistry, even though that's not what you want. You're young and you have no one to support financially. Personally, I'd bite the bullet, quit dentistry, get a job and spend my free time pursuing what you feel more passionate about.
  18. I don't think there's an easy answer here. You're in a really tough spot. It's cool that you want to be in music, but it sounds like you haven't taken many practical steps towards making that happen. Which means you're likely years away from being able to sustain yourself financially on that. You also have a wife who is financially dependent on you, which makes things complicated. If you want the best of both worlds, i.e financial stability and to chase your dreams, you're just going to have to spend every moment of free time working on your music career. Otherwise, quit your job and deal with the inevitable consequences. What do you think?
  19. @Mrkvn8 Why do you need Leo's mic? It might not even be appropriate if you're doing documentaries.
  20. Since you probably don't know, part of my background is that I've actually spent a lot of time doing exactly what you're talking about. To me, nothing gets solved through bypassing and suppression. Actually allow that desire to express itself without resisting it and then you have a chance of going beyond it. Too many spiritual people want to act like they're "above it" and skip the process. You're not. I get that. But here's what you're not seeing. Getting those one night stand is a lot, lot harder than you probably realize. Especially if this: is your background. So I've never looked at it like I was just going out to score a bunch of one night stands. There was always an element of personal development behind it. I would challenge you to actually become that guy. Then if you don't like it, you can disown the whole thing after you've actually gotten some results.
  21. @lostmedstudent You've probably thought about it already too much. Flip a coin and move on. Yes it's unknown and scary, but you have to do it anyway.
  22. @ContemplativeCacti It really depends on what you want. A lot of people are more promiscuous after a breakup. That can be healthy. You have to know "you" and what your goals are.
  23. Just a heads up, creating meetups are against the forum guidelines. It's going to be tougher in university because you've basically committed to being in the environment for a couple years. But it can still be done. First thing you want to do is find out exactly who you what to surround yourself with. Where do they eat? Where do they get their haircut? Where do they live? Etc. Once you know all that information you just plug yourself into those situations in a way that adds value. If you can become a connector / organizer for the people you want to associate with, that's a major plus. It's an easy way to add value to people in a way they will really appreciate. The key thing to realize here is that most successful people probably don't want to hang out with you. That's not a personal attack. It's just that in the same way you want to be around successful people, so do they. And they're busy. So if you're not successful already, you're going to run into gatekeepers that stop you from meeting these people. More than likely you'll have to network with people who aren't so successful until you start making better and better connections.