Enlightenment

Looking at my well being/happiness holistically

9 posts in this topic

I will almost certainly remain semi-monk for the rest of my life. I don't like earning money, neither even spending it. My parents were always classic stage orange, money/success-oriented people, I was always extreme tightwad and weird kid. I kept my money from the first communion for around ten years, my parents literally wanted me to be less tight with my money, I had aversion to expensive clothes they were buying me. They forced me to go on vacations which I also always had an aversion towards. I go to meet with the family on Christmas day, it gets loud, kids start running - I suffer and think it's not worth it to be there. I may go out with my friends to the lake, and then one thing goes wrong (let's say the backpack ripped apart) - I get irritated and in my mind, it cancels out all the good that comes from going out that day

A huge part of that are certainly my extremely neurotic, PTSD/depression/anxiety-prone genes. My aunt was so depressed at one point she literally couldn't eat food from anhedonia,  grandma has arthritis (8/10 same genes as MD) depression and anxiety. My father had 2-3 inches long, 0,5 inch wide scars from self-harm across his entire body from his PTSD/depression episode when he was 20~, later got stressed because my mother wanted to leave him and hang himself. I mean just unimaginable suffering. I want to put an end to those and would feel very bad having a kid.

I'm 26 and live with my mother. Why would I ever work more than 1 day a week? 1 day a week as an Uber driver for example is all I need to pay my mother half of the rent. Why would I have any monetary ambition if it means even a little bit of stress which puts me at risk of another 2,5-year episode of hell? I just want to live my life entering Jhanas, meditating every day for hours, listening to music and sometimes taking psychedelics. Can you make an argument that withdrawing from life in this way is a coping mechanism because of some "deeper issues"? Sure, as well as chasing money/success or rising a family


"Reality is brutal and it does not care about being fair to you."

                                                                                            -- Leo Gura

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I once entertained this way of thinking a couple of years ago, but over time I realized a core issue: is my decision coming from a place of fear and convenience or a place of passion and responsibility? What is holding you back from being a resourceful, courageous, noble and dutiful person; from being a source of inspiration, from partaking in the betterment of your family, your local community, your society and the world; from unfolding yourself to your fullest potential?


To balance beauty and complexity so perfectly is a divine mystery.

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The reason we feel the need to withdraw from the world is that we feel separate from it, what we don't see is that the same reason that people chase money and success is also because they feel separate from them. The difference is that the person seeking success thinks their happiness is missing now because of what is NOT present and the person looking to withdraw from it all thinks their happiness is missing because of what IS present. Ultimately happiness is no thing, and it is always present. Both strategies fail. A strategy to do what is already done will be a failure. 

The key is just to start to be open to see this. Start cultivating appreciation. 

My husband's family is much more well off than mine and for years I HATED going to their house, I HATED Christmas there and I would sit in discomfort and judge them the entire time. Their level of comfort made me very uncomfortable. It wasn't until I stopped attaching money with morality that I was able to go there and enjoy them as people and everything around me as well as the nice dinners and the expensive gifts they give my kids. I was judging myself for being unworthy of it the entire time, and in doing so gave it a power it didn't have. In my resistance to materialism I became materialistic. It wasn't until I just surrendered to it and let it be that I realized that non-attachment looks like appreciation when something is present and appreciation when it's not. 


My Youtube Channel- Light on Earth “We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the Secret sits in the middle and knows.”― Robert Frost

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@Enlightenment

Let's me start off by saying that this isn't unusual for someone who is seeking well being through 'spirituality' to possibly have some aversion to what the world expects from us so don't let this bring too much conflict to your inner life.

Secondly, I would add don't listen to people who will advise you from their own perspective of it because each one of us is so different that what they have in their circumstances of experience probably doesn't mirror yours so may not be helpful to you.

That being said let me advise you from my own experience of a similar but undoubtedly not identical circumstances and I absolutely understand if you disregard the advice considering the advice I gave you about others' advice one paragraph earlier... haha.

Allow me to begin by saying if your intention is to foster well being for yourself holistically as you suggest that will include everything.... your whole being. Which means the physical also is part of that and a part of physical is how we sustain our bodies' needs which in this world involves the monetary.

I'm not going to suggest this means you should adopt the mindset and perspective of your parents or any other 'self improvement guru' but it would behoove you to examine your relationship to things like money, work, ambition, accomplishments and the like.

Many of our concepts and ideas, self perceptions and expectations are ingrained in our psyche as a youth before we are even aware of our own self consciousness. So that when we are later looking at our own lives about what we seek we are using value sets that aren't even our own, they are the world's.

So it may benefit you to clear your relationship to all of these. Severing the self identity attachment as a 'monk' would can be a powerful way to clearing the conscious experience for you. This doesn't mean it takes living like a monk in a cave but maybe just using the methods of inner work to heal your being.

Allow yourself to learn the concepts and perspectives that resonate with your genuine being and you will be able to establish relationships to those things from a place of well being that are currently causing strife to you because they aren't founded in a perspective that resonates with you.

It may be that right now the preloaded perspectives of unaware youth isn't conducive for you to find joy in these worldly things but with aware inner work you can bring joy from your well being to them and that which resonates with your genuine being will reflect that joy back so will foster more well being.

I can't say what form that will take and which ideas, concepts and circumstances will be the ones that do resonate with you because that will be something only you will learn and know but there is a healthy path of well being in this world if you truly seek it.

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17 hours ago, Carl-Richard said:

is my decision coming from a place of fear and convenience or a place of passion and responsibility?

I actually get excited thinking about monk lifestyle without almost any responsibilities. Fewer responsibilities and obligations = more happiness for me

16 hours ago, mandyjw said:

Ultimately happiness is no thing, and it is always present

I disagree. Your definition of happiness would have to be really weird to say that happiness is present in all states humans are capable of experiencing. No matter how sophisticated one's non-dual philosophy gets, it fails a real test that comes with a really bad illness. So many Neo Advaita type teachers teach this stuff while being healthy, but if you ask an average healthy person off the street, chances are they will say I'm ok/quite happy. A recent example - Jeff Forest's Lyme's disease started affecting him badly and he quickly realized how much state matters.

17 hours ago, mandyjw said:

Start cultivating appreciation

Right, without appreciation no matter what long-term fortunate situation you will get into, you will still tend to overlook it

11 hours ago, SOUL said:

Which means the physical also is part of that and a part of physical is how we sustain our bodies' needs

The gym was a huge part of my life for many years. I've managed to add more muscle to my frame than I ever thought would be possible for me (over 20kg) and bodybuilding/powerlifting was one of the things I enjoyed doing, but once I got heavier and much much stronger on every lift after years of training, it started activating mild arthritis even when I switched to pure light weight bodybuilding training (doing 20 reps in a set) and living with constant mild pains and aches everywhere from training got too irritating and so I quitted gym completely and now live with less muscle and worse physique but pain-free. Condition-based sports I don't enjoy as much.


"Reality is brutal and it does not care about being fair to you."

                                                                                            -- Leo Gura

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Posted (edited)

20 hours ago, Enlightenment said:

I had aversion to expensive clothes they were buying me. They forced me to go on vacations which I also always had an aversion towards. I go to meet with the family on Christmas day, it gets loud, kids start running - I suffer and think it's not worth it to be there. I may go out with my friends to the lake, and then one thing goes wrong (let's say the backpack ripped apart) - I get irritated and in my mind, it cancels out all the good that comes from going out that day

That part reminds me of myself:D

Even if it's hard one has to move in the direction one wants to... and it can be super challenging to be the one who disagrees with the group, i know

To Answer your Question:

I argue that it's safer to go a little out of your comfort zone. In your case this means maybe exploration of all kinds (esp. social events, aaah) or to get more education / apprenticeship even if that means you have to work more. It's seldom one hasn't learned a thing from that, but I see many, many people above 40 who deeply regred to not have learned a skill that earns a living. It's a common trap.

Ask yourself: What if your mother could not pay rent anymore (death, disabled)? Could you sustain your live ? Is that likely?

That being said.. maybe you discover you are most happy as a semi monk - but then you will have additional perspective

 

Edited by supremeyingyang

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1 hour ago, Enlightenment said:

I disagree. Your definition of happiness would have to be really weird to say that happiness is present in all states humans are capable of experiencing. No matter how sophisticated one's non-dual philosophy gets, it fails a real test that comes with a really bad illness. So many Neo Advaita type teachers teach this stuff while being healthy, but if you ask an average healthy person off the street, chances are they will say I'm ok/quite happy. A recent example - Jeff Forest's Lyme's disease started affecting him badly and he quickly realized how much state matters.

Oh, it IS really weird. Happiness is just the absence of anything saying otherwise. No thing. No thing cannot have a state. 

Universe got your back. I mean, you don't have a back, so it doesn't have to have got it, it is it, so it so profoundly got your back that there's no chance of it messing up. You as a thought thing can never have lasting happiness. The only reason why Jeff being honest about his suffering with Lyme disease bothers anyone is that they think this is a realization they can have to bring security from some outside imposed threat. Self development and spiritual teachings for the mind acts as a sort of vaccine against suffering, but the ultimate reality is that there is no suffering and no arm or mind to inject any outside understanding into. There is no inside or outside. 


My Youtube Channel- Light on Earth “We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the Secret sits in the middle and knows.”― Robert Frost

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@Enlightenment  I don't have anything to say about this topic but I entered and fell in love with your profile picture <3

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3 hours ago, Enlightenment said:

I actually get excited thinking about monk lifestyle without almost any responsibilities. Fewer responsibilities and obligations = more happiness for me.

Dr. K (creator of healthygamer.gg) wanted to become a monk because he thought it would be easier than becoming a doctor. All the monks there had PhDs in STEM, and they told him that enlightenment is harder than getting a PhD. In other words, enlightenment gets easier when you adopt the mindset of voluntarily taking on responsibility for something bigger than yourself. This is because the avoidance of responsibility comes from selfishness.

What may initially look like selfishness (pursuing a career, money, status) is actually a necessary step for giving yourself over to something greater, which in the end is God. The monk doesn't live a simple life in order to avoid responsibilities. It's to avoid distractions. In my opinion, being a courageous, mature and emotionally integrated person is the true goal of spirituality, because true selflessness comes from facing all of the parts of yourself that you're afraid look at.


To balance beauty and complexity so perfectly is a divine mystery.

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