Leo Gura

Leo's Practical Guide To Enlightenment

593 posts in this topic

@kurt For sure dude, if you catch me projecting feel free to call me out on it.

 

Edited by Babybat

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@NTOgen I'm not part of that lot, I'm part of a different lot - but I'm not gunna go into that.  Pertaining to me specifically, you don't know what you're talking about.

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32 minutes ago, Babybat said:

@kurt For sure dude, if you catch me projecting feel free to call me out on it.

 

This has gone over my head, thank the Lord!:)  Ignorance is bliss

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@kurt It's a visual analogy describing projection.  It was supposed to be humorous.  

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@Leo Gura How to develop a burning desire to do this work? I have desire but it is not burning it is smouldering. And what to do if I answer all the questions during self inqury "I don't know"?

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@Wormon Blatburm So, those were BS questions from me. I elaborated on my mental problems in my latest journal entry if you would be interested to advice on that )=

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8 hours ago, Alex K said:

@Leo Gura How to develop a burning desire to do this work? I have desire but it is not burning it is smouldering. And what to do if I answer all the questions during self inqury "I don't know"?

It takes time to build up the momentum. It really helps to have at least one glimpse of the divine nature of reality. Psychedelics can be a gateway to that glimpse. People who break through on a psychedelic (assuming a non-party atmosphere) will then tend to become interested in spiritual development.

After my 5-meo experience, my desire is unshakable. The truth is more amazing than a 1000 orgasms.

Deep suffering can also create desire for liberation, fueling self-inquiry.

Doing a week-long meditation or consciousness retreat can also create deep desire.

Visiting an ashram and basking in it's incredible high-consciousness energy can also create deep desire.

Contemplating your own death and how much of your life you've wasted can also create deep desire.

"I don't know" is a great answer. Make sure you really mean it though. Do you REALLY not know? Or are you just saying that when in fact if I put a gun up to your head and tell you I'm gonna pull the trigger you're gonna start to beg me not to because you actually know that you're that body/brain? I bet you'd know real quick in that case. Which means you don't really not-know.

To REALLY not-know what you are means that you ACTUALLY don't know! Which means that if I told you that you might be a chocolate covered donut, you'd seriously consider it. To ACTUALLY not know what you are means that you can't say for sure whether you're a coffee table or a human being.

The reality of what you really are is much weirder than identifying with a coffee table. Becoming a coffee table is easy by comparison. At least a coffee table is an object.


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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Enlightenment Rookie Here: Just giving a report on this practice because I happen to want to,

I'm Day 4 into this practice and I am still on deep confusion as to what I really am and who is aware of reality. I am trying to resist settling with an intellectual answer but doubts keep arising. Worries about how I may be wasting my time fooling myself working on something that may actually lead nowhere. I try to sit and accept the negative thoughts and keep my eye on direct experience and direct experience only. I want to know what I am in direct experience.

Today, during the practice, I began to realize that my idea that I am this body is a deeply held belief that is so deep that even after hours of contemplation and reaching some conceptual understanding of enlightenment, I still live daily life based on the paradigm of "self and other". I felt truly open to turning that around. But still. . . . . . no enlightenment.

My mind then started pondering who is the one experiencing the frustration of not being able to find who is the one experiencing the frustration. (Try saying that 3 times fast)

Who is doing the enlightenment practice. Hell, who is writing this sentence right now? Body and mind is typing and reading this but who is experiencing?

Anyway, back to the practice. I eventually had the thoughts "Do these thoughts even mean anything?" "What's the point of trying to think my way to enlightenment?" So I decided to sit calmly for a while and just observe. . . . To communicate this via metaphor. . . Maybe me roaming around the lake is scaring away the fish. . . I should maybe just stay where I am and wait for the fish to come to me. . . . . Still, no enlightenment.

The last 5 minutes or so of my practice was pure irrelevant monkey mind before my timer rang. So that sucks. . . oh well. . . I've got like many more hours in my life to spend more time with this practice. I'm 19 years old. by the way, if that holds any importance to you.


Always Be Hardcore

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@Extreme Z7 That's basically how the process unfolds. Yes, it can be infuriating. Like trying to nail Jello to a wall. It just refuses to cooperate.

The secret is to not get discouraged or distracted. Stay with it and you'll experience a lot of growth fairly quickly, even without enlightenment. Many illusions will fall away as you keep at it.

It can be helpful to keep a journal to write all the illusions out of your system. Although self-observation isn't a theoretical process, it can be very helpful to purge as much theory as possible to thinking it through and dumping it on paper or even to a listening partner.

After much of the theory has been purged, true self-observation can begin.


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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Just did the Neti Neti Inquiry and I felt like I kept getting stuck because I believe I am the voice (thoughts) and the perceiver too -- so I perceive what I do. I didn't really think I thought I was the body. In fact I'm a little surprised some people think they are as it seemed obvious to me that I am the one perceiving the sensations (Spiritual Enlightenment part 3 helped come to this conclusion). Now I don't know where to go from here. I feel like some thoughts I have no control of and I don't know what the next thought will be but yet feel like I have control over these thoughts -- after all how can I do self-inquiry if I didn't have some control over thoughts?  

I also didn't fully get why fundamentally ''I'' have to be constant. Why can't ''I'' fundamentally change from moment to moment? We only have the present moment so why does it matter what I was in the past?

Another thing I'm confused with is that ''I'' am nothing yet it seemed convincing that I am the sensations that happen in the present moment like in the short Guided Mediation video. So how can I be both nothing and the sensations?

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@Samuel Garcia How can your heart beat even though you clearly aren't controlling it? This is a non-issue.

Maybe you aren't constant. People are just telling you things they've discovered about reality. Maybe you could be variable. Maybe you're a hairy rainbow walrus. But if you look deeper, you'll discover that is not the case. Why? You'll only know when you get there.

The present moment is literally you. But what exactly is presence? If you knew what it was, you'd already be enlightened.

Nonduality means you are everything and nothing. The ultimate paradox. You are the sensations, but they are not all that you are. The essence of you is Shiva: void. Sensations are Shakti. Reality is the union and dance of Shiva Shakti. Shakti needs Shiva like paint needs a blank canvas.

Your mission in self-observation work is to locate Shiva. This is hard to do because you've become addicted to seeing Shakti. Shakti is easy to see because its colorful. Shiva is colorless, so much harder to find.

Keep looking. The mind cannot ever grasp this! The only way for mind to access Shiva is if mind surrenders. If you are strong-minded, this may take a while. It would be much easier if you were weak-minded.


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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Could enlightenment actually be detrimental to survival fitness?

Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman's theory states:

"According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness."

I found the below article particularly interesting and pertinent to our discussion of the nature of reality, including this gem- "I’m emphasizing the larger lesson of quantum mechanics: Neurons, brains, space … these are just symbols we use, they’re not real. It’s not that there’s a classical brain that does some quantum magic. It’s that there’s no brain!"

Full article here: http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/04/the-illusion-of-reality/479559/

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@WorthyBird Enlightenment is way beyond issues of fitness. Once you realize you never existed in the first, you'll stop worrying about surviving.

That said, enlightenment doesn't have to reduce fitness. In fact, you'll be even more capable of effective survival. The only difference is, you won't be attached to it. Detachment from outcome tends to increase performance.

Ego creates a lot of self-interference. Often backfiring and reducing fitness. The whole problem with selfishness is that is ends up backfiring in the long run.


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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@Leo Gura Thank you for the insightful reply. I agree with your perspective on post-enlightenment fitness, although I find it interesting that some people do seem to struggle with fitness issues after varying degrees of enlightenment (motivational and relationship issues seem to be commonly reported).

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Ego creates a lot of self-interference. Often backfiring and reducing fitness.

It is incredible how many of our emotions are ineffective and often counter-productive self-manipulations. Ralston's "Pursuing Consciousness" was an invaluable resource in cultivating a practice of investigation into this matter. 

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The whole problem with selfishness is that is ends up backfiring in the long run.

haha invariably so.

 

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14 minutes ago, WorthyBird said:

I find it interesting that some people do seem to struggle with fitness issues after varying degrees of enlightenment (motivational and relationship issues seem to be commonly reported).

 

A well-rounded enlightenment -- one coupled with personal development -- should lead to high motivation levels and above-average relationships.

It can be tricky to gauge because many of our motivations and relationships are inauthentic and will naturally fall away post-enlightenment. But they should be replaced with higher-quality ones if one does this work properly.


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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On 25-12-2016 at 8:57 PM, Leo Gura said:

It takes time to build up the momentum. It really helps to have at least one glimpse of the divine nature of reality. Psychedelics can be a gateway to that glimpse. People who break through on a psychedelic (assuming a non-party atmosphere) will then tend to become interested in spiritual development.

After my 5-meo experience, my desire is unshakable. The truth is more amazing than a 1000 orgasms.

Deep suffering can also create desire for liberation, fueling self-inquiry.

Doing a week-long meditation or consciousness retreat can also create deep desire.

Visiting an ashram and basking in it's incredible high-consciousness energy can also create deep desire.

Contemplating your own death and how much of your life you've wasted can also create deep desire.

"I don't know" is a great answer. Make sure you really mean it though. Do you REALLY not know? Or are you just saying that when in fact if I put a gun up to your head and tell you I'm gonna pull the trigger you're gonna start to beg me not to because you actually know that you're that body/brain? I bet you'd know real quick in that case. Which means you don't really not-know.

To REALLY not-know what you are means that you ACTUALLY don't know! Which means that if I told you that you might be a chocolate covered donut, you'd seriously consider it. To ACTUALLY not know what you are means that you can't say for sure whether you're a coffee table or a human being.

The reality of what you really are is much weirder than identifying with a coffee table. Becoming a coffee table is easy by comparison. At least a coffee table is an object.

Leo, I've read many many times that desire should be put aside? That by wanting something so bad you cannot be in a state of being? Or is this something for before the breakthrough?

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@Visionary You've been misunderstanding whatever you've been reading. No serious teaching tells you to drop the desire for enlightenment before you've completed it. You drop it only AT AN ADVANCED STAGE, once you've attained many breakthroughs.

You're not capable of being in a state of being! That's why enlightenment is necessary.

You guys are way too worried about spiritual seeking. You should be much more worried about your lack of seeking. 99% of you aren't seeking nearly hard enough. Not even close! Your efforts are so weak you got more odds of getting hit by lightening than getting deeply enlightened.

The reason I say things like, "Enlightenment takes 10,000 hours" is so you understand the depth of the work and effort involved. Most people undershoot rather than overshoot.

If you're using very direct methods like self-observation or mindfulness meditation, seeking is a non-issue. You can seek that way for your whole life and it will yield fruit. The problem of seeking only arises when you're seeking in totally wrong areas. Like if you think that joining your local church study group will get you enlightened. That would be a problem. Or if you think merely reading self-help books will make you enlightened. That would lead to the seeking trap. You can seek that way for 100 years and not get anywhere.

But self-observation will not lead to a seeking trap, because it is the heart of the work. It is a fact that you don't know what you are yet, so you must invest time looking. The looking will not magically happen for you.

If you build a deep conceptual understanding of enlightenment, you will be able to navigate all the traps. And to do that, I recommend studying a lot of diverse teachings. If you only study one teaching, I can pretty much bet that you'll fall into one trap or another. If you study 50 different nonduality teachings, you'll see all the traps and potential Zen devilries. Of course studying alone will not make you enlightened. It's only the prelude to the core work.

And if you're tired of studying and what to dig deep into the core work, discipline yourself to sit down and execute the process outlined in this guide. It's extremely direct. No bullshit. In fact, the problem is, it's so direct you will come up with every excuse imaginable to avoid doing it. The first 6 months are a bitch.


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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@Leo Gura @Visionary  (I agree mostly with Leo's post, therefor some extra points).

 

Dear readers,

 

For those of you that truly are seeking spiritually regarding enlightenment.  ask yourself the following:

Am I truly ready for spiritual guidance? Because it seems, even though there are powerful comments posted by some, and some decent work has been placed for free here on this forum, that people still seem to fail to understand the following when it comes to spiritual guidance leading to enlightenment:

 

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  • - If someone is clearly less wise and intelligent then yourself. Then refrain from building contact. For as long as you can't guide yourself.
  • - If someone is clearly equally wise and intelligent like yourself, then work together in following guidance from someone rooted in Dharma (Watch out for this term its not just related to buddhism. Dharma means in essence protection, and in other ways its explained as the actual workings of reality).
  • - If someone is clearly more wise and intelligent then yourself, then work with him or her, in following his or her guidance, stay in touch.

 

 

 


Now I am going to make a few points:

  • - If someone is not yet enlightened up to the level of Buddha, and is as wise and intelligent as you are, be nice and kindly working together, or search to find to work together as a strive. 
  • - If someone is not yet enlightened up to the level of Buddha, and is less wise and intelligent as you are, but you yourself are not yet at the level of Buddha, give kind advice to someone that is actually more wise and intelligent then yourself, and guide this person to this person yourself and asking yourself this person kindly to share Dharma.
  • - If someone is definitely more wise and intelligent then yourself but is not yet enlightened up to the level of Buddha, you should be very respectful, kind, and refrained from any form of the slightest arrogance pretending to know better, or to reveal something this person has not seen in his or her presence. Listen well to this person, and ask this person questions that you have thought out before you enter this beings presence, may it be in physical presence or a private conversation as its presence or on this forum mentioning this beings name and thus make sure that you refer to your inner most deep questions that you seem to be stuck with. Don't just bombard after you hear the answer, the answer you get (give reputation for challenging your view), can be unpleasant to accept at first, but will reveal itself over time after practice as one would have been shown the way towards a great treasure. 
  •  If someone is rooted, anchored in Dharma, may you never ever try to persway his doings by making points what an enlightened being should do or not do and if not like Buddha "as you happen to understand Buddha being an absolute expert in the field", just dropping everything one is teaching and tell yourself he or she is a fake. The reasons why something has been said, or posted anywhere, is far beyond your own understanding. May you never ever just blindly attack them. Instead, ask people that do understand Dharma here, what the meaning might be.
  • Always, when people notice someones radiance of wisdom and intelligence considering Dharma reflecting in comments, and there is a line in all of the comments this being has made that has to do with either challenging ones belief system (for the hard nuts), or Dharma teachings of a kind that is a deep spiritual correction when it comes to your view, then contemplate the Dharma, don't judge the teacher because you think you can do it because you can't see the physical body, and can wildly, blindly post. Contemplating the Dharma, is asking about this beings teaching, What is the essence of your teaching? What are the techniques, and results over time? Understand that the feeling of great discomfort can happen in you when in presence, and by this you should be happy, it boiled up the attachment to refrain from, and look if thats not exactly has been pointed out in the comment section. Also, a being of great understanding has a nature of ending something. The comments have a tendency to close the subject, or is the last one posting regarding the subject. 

Some other points:

  • When such a being speaks, you should immediately refrain from any other behavior that has nothing to do with careful reading and investigating what has been shared. Be in his presence (distance is irrelevant, giving this false idea up, and one experiences it also when reading on the forum), and don't you ever just bombard from self deluded views to make some kind of wild gesture where one seeks like minded opinions without having any arguments to confirm your point relating to the subject. The reason is the results after such actions. The result of the action of bombarding when someone of great understanding speaks, may it be on a forum or in physical presence, a decent damage will be done upon yourself when it comes to intellect over time, mental tiredness and restlessness follow quickly after.
  • When such a being of great understanding has spoken Dharma, people of like minded that are working hard to get the deep meaning, should help others understand the deep meaning and share them among those seekers, without being attached to its results.
  • When still not understanding, and the others could not also, then let someone that understands most of the shared Dharma's contact the teacher for more information that can be shared, let this be in private. The teacher can decide himself rather to reply the message or just post another post or thread to share among others.
  • Give reputation upon comments that challenged your belief system and not the comments that just fits your silly opinion. Give reputation on comments with questions that actually were well asked, and well answered (not the smart talk attacking the one asking). Blindly giving reputation brings nothing goods. Especially deep corrections of ones view, should receive reputation for those who are newcomers.

 

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A final point: Do not seek to bombard a being that is of greater understanding then yourself EVER, you miss your aim and chance to learn and advance in his presence by seeking constantly mistakes (lets test if he is as good as Buddha, if not, I will bombard him being a pretender Buddha, as if no one with great understanding of good understanding may teach about enlightenment, I cannot start explaining how childish and disrespectful this is, and actually is why you don't advance quickly, while those intelligent do advance quickly). Always contemplate the subject presented, and if you are seeking for these mistakes all the time, then be honest, and if you can't get rid of this, then may that your question be towards such a being: How to get my mind out of fault seeking?

One of the most deluded things one can do, is to try to get others to share deluded opinions that have non value or are not related to the given subject, trying to get a division among people that try to understand Dharma. This leads to heavy results that are of a painful nature over longer periods of time, refrain from such actions leading to such results!
Therefor, don't have multiple teachers at the same time, follow a teaching, and then move on when finally seen it worked or not after truly practicing. Take what you need and move on, without being disrespectful about your previous teacher, instead, if you gained a higher, better understanding, be willing to share this so that your previous teacher can advance as well, for the sake of suffering.

If you are not really up to what is written above, then ask yourself: What am I doing really? I want guidance, but am not willing to form my mind to be a proper student. Think about it.

 

And again, think about it, is this comment of starting a lot of conversations? Or has it a closing nature? (And don't give me that: Oops he is after reputation guys!)... No, look at the nature of the comment and see if its right or not. Any idea how childish it is, unintelligent it is to just seek false opinions supporting your own deluded views?

 

Edited by Aware

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOBDIoLi3C4 Ahayah Ashar Ahayah, chant and be free!

 

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