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About TDW1995

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  • Birthday 09/07/1995

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    Normal, IL
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  1. I believe you are thinking of the "How to Become Enlightened" video.
  2. This is something I'm working on as well. The thing that I'm finding out as far as being more selfish is that you must own your perspective. This means knowing what you perceive, what interests you, what you value, and what you want in the moment. Then, being able to share this with others. Counterintuitively, this may make you less selfish. When you continually sacrifice yourself and put other people's needs first, what you are really doing is trying to have others see you a certain way. You want people to think you are a good person. But, this is selfishness on a deep level. You are putting on a mask, hiding your true self. On the other hand, sharing more about yourself and what you want in the moment builds deeper connections. People get to know the authentic you. To put this into practice, ask yourself what you want periodically throughout the day. Remind yourself of your purpose, values, and interests each day. Perhaps write down your purpose, values, and interests in a journal and read them over until you are crystal clear about them. Then, finally, share all of this with others.
  3. Yes, I would agree that it's pretty awesome that you've developed these habits at such a young age. I wish I would've known about the value of reading and meditation back at age 14 as well. I'll go ahead and second the idea of passion. This is a great age to find something you're passionate about and developing your skills around that. Commit to mastering your passion once you know what it is. Create a vision for your life and plan accordingly.
  4. Social confidence is something I have struggled with for years. I have given up several times, but over the past month I've finally decided I need to really overcome this. I can see how this holds me back in my career, friendships, and romantic relationships. Just recently, I've identified some really important insights on what is holding me back on the journey to social confidence. Firstly, I've noticed that I am trying to control and manipulate people's reactions. Doing this requires our minds to "figure out" the perfect thing to say which will create a positive response from the other person. For example, before I say something to my boss, I want to know FOR SURE that he/she is going to respond to me in a positive manner. If my boss reacts negatively, then we automatically think we did something wrong and we are not worthy just as we are. Much of our social anxiety results from absolutely needing positive feedback all of the time, in every situation. For as long as we try to get people to say something we want, we will be stuck. We must give the other individual complete autonomy and freedom to react as they choose. And, no matter how they react (positively or negatively), we must realize our self-worth is not changed in any way whatsoever. Lastly, I found that I've been gauging my progress of overcoming social anxiety by how I am feeling emotionally prior to, during, and after social situations. If I feel nervous before, during, or after a situation, well, that must mean I'm not making any progress towards overcoming social fear. However, if we look deeply into emotions, we can see that this is the body's conditioned response to a situation that may feel threatening. For years we have trained ourselves to avoid situations that may trigger a "negative" emotion. Instead, we should measure our progress on doing what scares us despite the emotions involved. We must fully feel the emotion of fear, anxiety, etc. You can even go so far as to loving the feeling of fear because you know on a deep level this is helping you. I know this is easier said than done, but if we judge fear and anxiety as negative and something we should avoid entirely, then we don't have a chance to improve our social lives. After all, what's so bad about fear, anxiety, etc.? Is there any emotion out there that's really "bad?" An emotion may be an intense, energetic feeling in the body, but what's so wrong with that?
  5. My prediction is that Biden will win either North Carolina or Arizona (I gave one state to each candidate). Even if Trump wins both those states, Biden wins Pennsylvania and wins a fairly close election.
  6. @Danioover9000 I feel like at times I have a high sex drive and this leads me to the habit loop of letting it go through masturbation (sometimes through porn, bit I try to stay away from it). Never thought of trying to channel sexual energy through creative means. Thanks! @Byun Sean I have made self-help and meditation a priority, however, recently the desire for sex and relationships have increased. Masturbation does help keep my mind off sex afterwards, which helps with meditation practice. Thanks!
  7. @How to be wise Fantastic book! Read it a month ago. I know the importance of life purpose and making that your priority. I may need to take even greater action in the area of life purpose. @arlin It's a tough situation for sure. @Thestarguitarist14 No history of dating/sexuality. There's continuous pressure building up in me since I'm 25 already and don't have much experience in this area.
  8. I'm a guy in my mid-20's who has been introverted and quiet for much of my life. For this reason, which may not be a valid excuse, romantic relationships have never been a part of my life. Although I've been eating healthy, practicing concentration, meditation, and self-Inquiry, and reading/learning about self-help topics, the need for sex and relationships seems to be halting me from true growth in the areas of career/life purpose and enlightenment work. Sex is something that I continue to crave and without it, I believe that these areas of my life may not progress as well. I realize that sex and relationships is not the highest ideals, like life purpose and truth, but I'm starting to think I can't skip over this area of my life. Is it accurate to say that until life purpose and spirituality make big leaps, I need to transcend sex and relationships? For thoughts of sex and relationships have strongly occupied my mind for much of my 20's (thanks to hormones).
  9. During self-inquiry, it's obvious to me that I can't be any part of the past since the now is all there is. Yet, memories of a past self are so sticky and hard to disidentify from when I'm in the presence of other people. My identity seems to be my self-image while interacting with people. My identity while around people is filtered through memories of past interactions I had with them, and I act in a way that's aligned with the self-image (a caring, kind person, etc.). I get discouraged because I do self-inquiry to challenge what I may identify with, and it seems beyond ludicrous to believe that I am a certain image of a past self. Does anyone else have a difficult time dropping the self-image? Why is this so difficult to overcome since it seems so obvious that the self-image is not really who I am?
  10. @Nak Khid Makes sense. I've never experienced anything without directly perceiving it. Yet, I assume things are there independent of direct observation. @Leo Gura Never thought of it that way! What I'm hearing you say is that only a "separate self" can believe it is sensing something. But, there may be no sensations at all since it implies a perceiver. Seems like a language game that must be transcended. I'll need to rewatch that episode for a refresher.
  11. Lately I've been using mindfulness meditation to deconstruct my assumption of a physical reality. I've also been questioning the idea of objects existing without direct observation. This has really opened my mind to the possibility that reality is not static. Recently, I have realized that I consider sight as the most primary of all the five senses. Without sight, I feel like I wouldn't be able to name "things" within reality. For example, when I close my eyes I can feel my "body", but does what I call the "body" exist while my eyes are closed? If not, then I rely on sight to attach names to "objects" within reality. And, when I think of the "body", an image comes to mind, not a feeling, hearing, smelling, or tasting sensation. This realization has made me wonder if any sensation is "above" another, like on a hierarchy. If I indeed realize that there is no hierarchy, and all senses are on the same level, I think that would be a very profound realization. I feel like I'm starting to make traction on breaking down the paradigm of objective reality, but not sure if I'm on the right track. Although I feel like I'm making progress, I still have a hard time shaking the idea that objects don't exist independent of perception. One major roadblock is the fact that reality seems so consistent. My bedroom looks the same from one night to the next. All "objects" stay in the same place. Sometimes I wonder, if reality doesn't consist of static objects, then why isn't everything randomized on a moment to moment basis?
  12. Meditation includes many different techniques and has the primary focus of calming the mind and accepting the present moment as it is. A busy mind is perfectly okay during meditation, but is not ideal for self-inquiry. Self-inquiry is more advanced and is solely focused on questioning the subject of experience: you. However, practicing meditation over time can be a great practice to calm the mind in order to do self-inquiry effectively. A calm mind, in my experience, is a prerequisite to self-inquiry in order to do the practice precisely. I'm not at the advanced stages of self-inquiry, but I do wonder if over many years of practice, if it will be difficult to distinguish the difference between meditation and self-inquiry.
  13. @silene I agree. The phrase "aware of awareness" sometimes makes my mind churn away, which is not at all what the phrase suggests. However, I do think it can be a very useful phrase for newbies starting out in this work because it can help them differentiate what is and what isn't considered awareness, or the True Self. Eventually the realization may come that subject and object merge into one. That description of Winston's book is helpful. I spend 10 minutes/day using an object for concentration, but all other meditation I do is the resting of attention and allowing what is to just be. I'm starting to notice that there isn't much of a difference between meditation and self-inquiry, although self-inquiry is more focused.
  14. @Leo Gura Yes, much work to do to question something that's such a strong hard-wired belief. @silene I sometimes do my self-inquiry at night while in the dark. It does seem to be helpful in a dark room for me as I'm much more focused. At times I am very focused and sit with the feeling of just Being, of what is, but then my mind will come up with the idea that once this body dies, awareness has to disappear. This logical brain of mine can't fathom anything else as a possibility.
  15. @Member To me, it sure feels like awareness comes from the body, but this is something I haven't deeply contemplated yet. Under my current paradigm, if I think of awareness being everywhere, my mind makes the conclusion that every object would have to have sentience, but I don't want to believe that. I have much contemplating to do to overcome these deeply held beliefs.