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Everything posted by TDW1995

  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. 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).
  7. @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!
  8. @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.
  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. 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?
  11. @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.
  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. I often wonder if it is even possible to be aware of awareness. If our true nature is awareness, then aren't we "too close to ourself" to be aware of it? Some spiritual teachers often say that this is analogous to an eye trying to see itself or a flashlight shining light on itself. Obviously, an eye or a flashlight can't see or shine light on itself, so isn't this the same way as attempting to be aware of awareness? In my experience of self-inquiry, I am seeing that awareness can only be applied to objects, thoughts, emotions, etc. And because I am starting to realize more and more than no object is my true Self, I've been attempting to "rest my attention," so that I am not focused on any "thing" within awareness. Is this what is meant of "being aware of awareness?"
  15. @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.
  16. @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.
  17. @Spaceofawareness Thanks for that! I've had some confusion about what it means to be aware of awareness. But, the more I practice self-inquiry, the more clear it becomes that awareness comes before everything else.
  18. @Preetom Yes, I've been doing this process of elimination/Neti Neti type of self-inquiry for months. It's becoming more and more clear that there is "something" prior and more fundamental than all perceptions.
  19. @Leo Gura It's as simple as that. Sounds glorious Thanks for clearing things up.
  20. @Leo Gura Self-inquiry is incredibly simple yet my mind sometimes overcomplicates the practice. At moments I "feel" into the emptiness and realize that everything happens within this awareness/consciousness. It's so fundamental and simple, yet sometimes I wonder if there's something I'm overlooking. Thanks for the help!
  21. March 19th Meditation and Spirituality Meditation: Strong Determination Sit (60 minutes)- I have been letting my mind go while I sit still for the full hour. Lately, my mind has been very busy, but I am not controlling it. Spirituality: Self-Inquiry (30 minutes)- The way I have been doing self-inquiry the past couple of days is asking the question, "Am I aware?" I learned this from a Rupert Spira video and it leads you directly to awareness. Health and Wellness I will be at my parent's house quite a bit since I am working from home now. I plan to continue to make fruit and vegetable smoothies on a regular basis and eat as healthy as I can. Also, I intend to get on a regular workout schedule since I have equipment at my parent's house to use. Even though my gym is close, I have everything I need here. Weekly Goal: Workout three days this week. Social Confidence Because much of the world is isolated right now, it is hard for me to work on interacting with others. However, I will continue to take any chance I get, and also continue to work on techniques each day to generate high self-esteem. Weekly Goal: Take bold action on the ranked three items of the fear hierarchy. Continue to work on the learned techniques from the book.
  22. Within this journal I plan to track three main areas: Meditation and Spirituality, Health and Wellness, and Social Confidence. I consider these areas the most important at this point in my life. Although I've already been taking action in these three areas, being able to journal my progress can be extremely beneficial by helping me stay accountable. I plan to start tracking and setting weekly goals in each area starting March 1st, 2020. Meditation and Spirituality: I still remember the date I started meditating. It was September 2nd, 2015, so nearly four-and-a-half years ago. There’s been ups and downs with meditation throughout the years, but I have maintained a very consistent habit of doing it every day (except for the summer of 2016, as that was when I was going through a very deep depression and meditation was too painful). Just this past November I’ve been really committed to not only calm my mind, but to start doing hardcore enlightenment work. I’ve known about enlightenment for about four years (ever since seeing Leo’s Spiritual Enlightenment-Intro video). The moment I heard about spiritual enlightenment, the truth of no self, I was shocked and a little depressed. I started to believe that life was meaningless and there was no point in putting much effort into anything. But, over the past few months, I’ve really started to buy into the idea that spiritual awakening may be a profound thing that can be truly life changing; not a nihilistic way of viewing the world. So, over the past few months I’ve been doing Strong Determination Sitting, Self-Inquiry, and Kriya Yoga. I intend to implement these techniques daily and stay consistent with them for months and perhaps years to come. I’m excited where this work will take me, and I plan to update my status regularly. Health and Wellness: All my life I’ve been considered a “healthy eater” by friends and family. However, after watching Leo’s “How to Shop for Healthy Food,” I realized that there is still more improvement that can happen in this area. Ever since watching that video a couple of years back, I’ve been eating more organic food, especially fruits and vegetables. But, I have not been consistent with healthy nutrition lately, so I want to make this a big focus in my life. Although I consider myself to be a healthy eater as compared to the average American, there is still more work to do. About two weeks ago, I’ve been noticing my energy levels being low. This past week I’ve increased my vegetable intake, have been drinking fruit and vegetable smoothies, and have replaced pre-made salad dressing with homemade salad dressing using organic ingredients. This has made a huge difference in my energy levels and general well-being. Having more energy is not the only reason why I’m focusing on this area, but I’m also a health and wellness coach. Being able to take my health to the next level is imperative since I encourage others to do the same. Making nutrition a priority in my life will benefit me in many areas. Also, I’d like to get back into the gym and start lifting weights again. This was a big part of my life much of last year, but once I committed to doing enlightenment work this past November, I’ve spent less and less time in the gym. I would like to put on some muscle since I’m a fairly skinny individual. By going to the gym on an every-other-day basis, my body will get in the work it needs to stay in shape. I intend on setting at least one nutrition and one exercise goal throughout the week to ensure my health is top notch. Social Confidence: If there’s one thing I’ve been procrastinating on in my life, it would be taking action to cure my shyness. All my life I’ve considered myself to be shy, and many people have reinforced this idea in me that I am a “quiet” person. Although shyness may not be a “bad” thing, it has held me back in so many areas of my life. I do have a solid, small group of friends, and this has had a very positive impact on my life. However, the most concerning area that shyness has affected me most in is dating and relationships. I’m currently 24 years old and I’ve never been in a real relationship with the opposite sex. In high school, I had a girlfriend for about a year, but I wasn’t invested or interested at the time. Although many women have considered me to be a physically attractive guy, I haven’t been taking the initiative to put myself out there and approach women myself. The lack of experience with women has come back to bite me. Just the idea of approaching a random woman on the street or at the bar terrifies me. Not only that, but even getting myself to go to a bar is out of the ordinary. I’m a very introverted individual who loves spending his time by himself, but at the same time I realize the need to get out of my shell. So, I am determined to do just that. I have been reading several books and have been researching ways to overcome social anxiety. Many, many times I’ve tried to overcome shyness and failed. The simple reason why I keep failing is this: I have always believed there will be some book, program, or resource that would somehow rewire my brain, so I am magically no longer shy. Sure, I know a lot about shyness and why I am anxious in many social situations, but I have not been taking any consistent action to overcome it. I have not been putting myself out there in social situations even though every book, program, or resource tells me to do so. Because of this, I plan to implement the following principle: limit theory, maximize action. Continuous action always comes before confidence. Each week I plan to list at least one goal that requires me to take bold action.
  23. March 18th Meditation and Spirituality Meditation: Strong Determination Sitting (60 minutes)- I stayed still the whole time. I noticed my mind and it was very active throughout the entire session. However, I let the mind go and watched what it did. Spirituality: Self-Inquiry (30 minutes)- I will typically do this in the morning, but today I will be doing it before bed. Health and Wellness Because I will be working at home due to the virus outbreak, I really want to concentrate on nutrition and exercise. It will now be possible to workout at home since I have a gym at home. I plan to work out three days this week. Weekly Goal: Workout three days this week. Social Confidence With the virus going on, it is hard to interact with people on a daily basis. I will be working at home, but I'll still be calling some clients. I plan to continue to work on techniques throughout being quarantined at home. Weekly Goal: Take bold action on the ranked three items of the fear hierarchy. Continue to work on the learned techniques from the book.
  24. March 17th Meditation and Spirituality Meditation: Strong Determination Sitting + Self-Inquiry (30 minutes)- Today I combined meditation and self-inquiry since it was an early morning, and I am very tired throughout the day. For a whole 30 minutes I didn't move and went very deep into the inquiry. This was after getting more clarity on what we are supposed to look for in self-inquiry after watching a Rupert Spira video. I was able to go beyond form and just put awareness on awareness itself. I kept asking, "Am I aware?" I can be aware of a sensation, but can I be aware of what is aware? I believe this was the deepest I've ever gone in self-inquiry. Health and Wellness My gym is closed due to the virus. This will not allow me to get in four workout days this week. However, I plan to stay on top of my nutrition. Social Confidence I am working on making eye contact with strangers and speaking up in groups at work. It is going well, and it is not as hard as I thought it would be. I plan to continue to take action on this throughout the week. Starting next week I will do more difficult tasks. Weekly Goal: Take bold action on the ranked three items of the fear hierarchy. Continue to work on the learned techniques from the book.
  25. March 16th Meditation and Spirituality Meditation: Strong Determination Sit (60 minutes)- Today I sat motionless for the whole hour. My mind was calm for the first half, but they it starts thinking a lot the last 30 minutes. This is when I implement the principle of "do nothing" and let my mind do what it wants. Not moving is the most important aspect of this meditation. Spirituality: Self-Inquiry (30 minutes)- Instead of feeling like I am coming from the inside-out (in the body experiencing reality outwards), it felt like I was coming from the outside-in. At times I was just experiencing everything that was happening without believing that I was something inside the body. Everything was just existing as it were. Health and Wellness Weekly Goal: Workout four days this week. Social Confidence Weekly Goal: Take bold action on the ranked three items of the fear hierarchy. Continue to work on the learned techniques from the book.