silene

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  1. @Raptorsin7 good call, yes I've started reading it, a great resource. You're right about making the path compatible with our life; the other choice would be to make our life compatible with the path! Perhaps I'm underestimating the value of mindfulness in my worldly life, and expecting too much from monkish meditation.
  2. 12-dec-19 MEDITATION This week I'm doing a concentration, navel contemplation, as a break from 'just being' meditation. I was getting an issue with the being though. What to do about thoughts, music etc in my mind? The question arose 'Everything is being so I shouldn't be excluding anything. That's a division, dualism, splitting the mind into what is allowed and not allowed in meditation. This type of meditation is not about concentrating on an object, but opening up, surrendering to the whole of being. So, if my mind starts an intentional activity like thought, do I let it go (letting go meditation), or let it be (like Leo's do nothing meditation). Something to return to next week. WEIGHT LOSS I'm still stuck on a plateau and haven't lost any more weight, not helped by it being the Yuletide season (I baked a fruit cake today!). Also personal circumstances limit my exercise at the moment I'm off work. So I'm working with the psychology of eating less. How an empty stomach and hunger causes an automatic thought and feeling pattern "must eat, fill myself up to get rid of this hunger" . Then I mindfully observe and let the hunger be, after a while it passes. Drinking water mindfully helps too. OTHER THOUGHTS Some in the forum say that full awakening is a long and arduous process, I should meditate at least an hour per day, do other practices, go on long intensive retreats etc. But I'm a family man, a husband, dad, employee. I can't be a rock to my family while I go on retreats or other solo practices. My strong intuition is that I am where I should be right now, this is my life purpose, vocation, calling. Love/Being wants me to be what the Buddhists call a 'householder' or family man rather than a monk, even a modern secular monk. How to be a good parent, to embody morality, spirituality, self-esteem etc without imposing my made-up religion on them. Maybe parenting would be worth a thread on the forum.
  3. Greetings kamekat and welcome to the forum Sometimes it's hard to know if the struggles we all experience are just part of the process, or a sign that we aren't on the optimal path or technique for ourselves. It takes time to build up that experience, especially if we are following a solo path, rather than belonging to an organisation. But as a rule of thumb, there's no need to be judgemental about your meditation sessions. If it feels like a struggle and you can't keep your attention on your meditation object, that doesn't mean it's a bad or unsuccessful session. Likewise, a focused, relaxed and blissful session isn't necessarily better. You develop and make progress either way. Me too. I have a basic theoretical understanding in my mind, but only enough to get bogged down in paradox. But that's kind of the point, the spiritual side of nonduality (as opposed to the philosophical side) is trying to point us beyond the intellectual understanding to direct awareness. Hence the promotion of practices like meditation and yoga. So the moral is, don't worry if you don't understand nonduality. Feel free to treat all the ideas here as purely provisional until you have built up your own experience to the level when you can find out for yourself.
  4. A lot of forum members appear to subscribe to something similar to the Buddhist Two Truths Doctrine ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_truths_doctrine ) - I do more or less myself - which posits there are relative and absolute truths or perspectives (or conventional and ultimate, or a similar description). I have seen many debates like this which hinge on a mixup between the two types of perspective. Most of us are firmly established in the relative perspective with little awareness of the absolute, so we interpret the narrative from that side; someone like Leo is presumably spending more time in the absolute perspective. But we don't have a good language to describe the absolute, often people use the same name like 'morality' for both relative and absolute, so unless you are pretty familiar with this subject, it's very easy to get the wrong end of the stick. I don't have a good solution to this problem, with written text sometimes people use an uppercase when referring to the absolute, eg Consciousness vs consciousness, Truth vs truth, although this isn't very consistent. Also that doesn't work for the spoken word. My hope is that this will work itself out over time.
  5. This reminds me of Enoch Powell and his infamous 1968 'Rivers of blood' speech ... what's that saying, the more things change the more they stay the same.
  6. This is a good discussion, it's helped remind me how negative and fear-based most politics is. We end up with a situation where the 2 most powerful parties have no interest in changing the system so we get locked into an apparently minimal choice for the voters. It requires a powerful disruptive energy to change that, but I'm doubtful if even Brexit is powerful enough, perhaps climate change (if real) will do it? The other consequence is that the alliance and deal making which goes with proportional systems, has to occur within the political parties, in a FPTP (first past the post) system. This is why we have such internal party wranglings in my country (beyond the reach of ordinary voters).
  7. Yes. The USA is the left's favourite scapegoat for the world's problems, when they really should be looking deeper, into human nature, for the source of our problems. I suppose that serves their own self-interest. If it wasn't the USA interfering it would be someone else (says a Brit!). How about the people in Hong Kong struggling for democracy at the moment, or is that America's fault too?
  8. It would be good to hear how it goes, any new insights will be helpful, as I find it hard to keep a stable and consistent political narrative going in my mind these days. Beware, books can have propaganda too!
  9. Would you say enlightenment is a sudden binary thing, or a gradual development with degrees of enlightenment? I'm curious that we talk about spiral dynamics for psychological development, but I've not come across a good modern equivalent for spiritual development. Some ancient religions have them, like the oxherding pictures. Perhaps I've just missed it in my reading.
  10. Maybe this is your ego or inner self (inner child) feeling threatened by your development work, and its resistance is manifesting itself through a thought pattern of skepticism. Just a guess, you need to look into yourself to find out really. I suppose your therapist has a point, the quickest way to overcome fears and anxieties is to face them directly, mindfully. But it's not easy is it, otherwise we wouldn't need all these therapists, counsellors, life coaches etc to help us through it Are you committed to a particular meditation style? If not it may be worth trying a different one, or starting with a shorter time and building up slowly. Or meditation plus another practice such as art to get used to observing your feelings and expressing them. But I don't want to interfere with your therapy process either, so maybe it's best to talk with your therapist about it again rather than just accept their view that 'it will be fine'. If you feel it's not working, there's no harm in telling them is there? You're the client after all.
  11. Perhaps the healthier ones don't have nicotine? But worth researching by the sound of it.
  12. How does vaping compare to smoking? Never tried it myself (I gave up smoking well before vaping was invented) but it is advertised as a healthier alternative.
  13. Maybe you're spending too much time on Leo's theory and not enough on your own practice? Try picking just a few practices, spend more time looking at the reality around you, and drop Leo's theories until you can see the truth for yourself. Who knows, Leo may be wrong, but you need your own direct experience to actually find out By the way, Iif you want a regular life, what's stopping you?
  14. That may be the intention but the future outcomes of present actions are bound to be uncertain with something complex like human society. The problem with a revolution is, if it does go wrong, it's much harder to rewind back and try something else. That's why big new ideas are often piloted in a small scale first to see if they work well, you can learn lessons and make adjustments before rolling out across the whole country. A whole society contains citizens at different stages of development, so the change strategy (fast or slow) needs to be very sophisticated to fit us all. This question is a bit generalised, are there any particular issue(s) you are interested in @Amit Which context is your priority for our development? Otherwise, we are just left with Leo's reply that it depends on the situation.
  15. "wasting your vote is not gonna help change the 2 party system." I don't think my vote for party C is wasted. It is counted for the party C which I prefer so that everyone knows how much support they have, and encourages them to continue to exist and have good policies. If, on the other hand, I vote for party B which I don't agree with just to try and keep the even more disagreeable party A out, there's no data to record why I did that. Party B will take my vote as if I was a full supporter and agree with their manifesto. Then I will be complaining about them for the next 5 years or so but only have myself to blame. It's worse than not voting at all IMO, or spoiling your ballot paper, because at least that sends a message that the system is failing me. Party B has as much interest in maintaining the 2 party system as party A, why should they change it?