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About juliank

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  1. Science and the Future of Non-Duality

    Thank you, part of the "mystery" and the demystification of that "mystery" that I was referring to is to 3 domains. You mentioned one of them. 1) Traditions steeped in their own mythology and it coming across as deeply incomprehensible to a sincere modern seeker on the path, who is happy to do the "work" but is confused by all the esoteric symbols, language, dogmas, cultural biases etc. This is not a criticism of the tradition, but simply a statement that all this overlaid symbology and mythology makes it very difficult for a sincere seeker to penetrate through to the essentials that will lead to the shift... 2) Non-duality (due to it's very nature) is incredibly fraught with confusion. How many hours do you believe people have spent talking about enlightenment, awakening, samadhi, unity consciousness, and on and on throughout history? The research is a step in trying to find --points of mutual contact at the level of cognitive and neuro-physiology-- to more accurately link together people who are having "roughly" a similar experience of the non-dual state. Is it perfect? Ha! Of course not, but it's certainly a lot simpler to understand than wading through a discussion on enlightenment on this board (Tongue in cheek) 3) The types of practices that actually "work" more efficiently based on the feedback and advice of those already in the non-dual state. I'll give you an example from Spotless. Spotless, I have heard you say that when in meditation, "stop the engineering, stop the doing" and simply "be". Forgive me, if I'm paraphrasing. This advice is actually quite useful, especially for a newbie on this board who perhaps has stalled out in his practice because he's trying to hard to make something happen, and simply needs to relax into his own being. Now, imagine that same type of advice compounded over thousands of individuals, and thousands of hours interviewing those individuals, and being meticulous about "hey what actually worked for you?" This has got be more useful than what we have now to helps newbs on the path... I get the sense that Martin's understanding is primarily scientific, and can talk "nuts and bolts" from a cognitive and neuro-science perspective, but he simply does not have the depth of experience from the "inside". Especially, from the more advanced locations. I was waiting for him to talk about his own experience, and he did mention that he has transitioned, so I imagine he has had a taste, but to which degree it's hard to say. He certainly is not touting himself as a spiritual teacher by any stretch, and thank god for that. However, in a way that misses the point. His work is that of a researcher, and most intriguingly an independent researcher with his own money (a rare thing in academia where research is tied to big money interests).
  2. Science and the Future of Non-Duality

    From the research study, and of the many interviewers who have actually taken the course, the shift is not "simple". It's arduous and takes a tremendous amount of dedication, however, it's not as difficult as it's been espoused in many of the religious. traditions. However, as Spotless has pointed out, the shift is where it really begins, there is also the integration phase within that location and maybe even in this life, a shift to a new location. Gary Weber is in location 4, so from his perspective it does indeed take many years, since he's relatively advanced on the non-dual spectrum. Again, this is from the POV of the research, I am just a simple being on the path. That said, I am energized by the demystification of a process that has become even more complicated by the rise of the information age we live in. Anything that simplifies these matters, makes them more pragmatic for the benefit of all beings is something I can get behind.
  3. Science and the Future of Non-Duality

    @ Dwai. If you watch the interview, his scientific work is only interested in "persistent non-symbolic consciousness". In relation to your question, the transition into non-duality would have had to been maintained for at least 1 year before he would acknowledge it as such. It's not a state, but a shift that is "persistent". @ John Doe. Thanks, the link you posted is to Gary Weber, and was one of the research subjects in this study. According to Martin, Weber is in location 4 on the map. If you watch the last 30 minutes of the interview the locations and what they mean will make more sense. Thanks, Spotless. Yes, he does talk about those who do transition into non-duality and because of lack of support, or guidance, dip back into duality. Also, what Martin has done here, and is the only thing science really can do, is to very meticulously recognize the patterns and map them out in a way that are cross-cultural, and trans-disciplinary. This will shock many within the religious and spiritual communities who want to keep the practices, and indeed the stages or what Martin calls locations shrouded in mystery. I personally believe that the demystification of non-duality is a welcome step provided it is supported by integration practices that assist the seeker post-transition.
  4. Curious if anyone on this board has been tracking the work of Jeffery Martin. He's got a new interview on Buddha at the Gas Pump. It's a long interview, over 2 hours which I find fascinating, but the TL:DR version is... Essentially, he's a Harvard trained scientist who spent the last 10 years of his life collecting data from thousands of individuals who are living from what he terms "persistent non- symbolic consciousness" aka non-duality. As far as I know, no scientist from a mainstream university like Harvard has ever studied or analyzed this topic. Primarily, because there is no money from it, and it would also be seen as "woo woo" or professional suicide. Dr. Martin is independently wealthy, so had "no skin in the academic game" and did this study more as an answer to his own existential yearning... I know that many on here are familiar with Daniel Ingram, and his mission to make the path more empirical, accessible, and free of clutter. This man has taken it to another level by literally studying thousands of leading mystics, saints, sages, along with other individuals who wouldn't fit that typology, but either through grace or sheer rigor have transitioned into non-duality. Additionally, he has created a course that weaves together the "best practices" from all his research to help others transition into non-duality. I live in the Bay Area, where Mr. Martin is connected to circles I run in, and I personally know credible sources that have taken the course and say it does indeed, work. What does that mean, work? That is to say, they at least transitioned into Location 1 on the non-dual spectrum. If you aren't familiar with the terminology, watch the last 30 minutes of the interview to get a sense of how he has mapped the different "locations" of non dual consciousness according to major developmental, cognitive, and emotional markers to get a sense of what I'm talking about... Why do I post this here? I'm curious what others think of this endeavor, and it's implications for the possibility of a global awakening at an accelerated rate. If there is a way to "engineer awakening" via science --which this man has claimed to do-- and which I know will trigger some on this board who will spit out their coffee at the idea of engineering the sacred cows that they have a deep identification with (and which I do as well to a degree...) what does this mean for the future of those involved in this type of work? Thoughts?
  5. Tao In A Bottle

    Old thread: Awesome product. I have theanine and take it as needed, but this is on another level. Must be the ingredients. Peaceful bliss with razor sharp mental concentration...
  6. Commanding the Mind

    I hear you lerner, Aurobindo takes a different approach to this idea. His approach is that mind is actually not "ours", so in his view there is no split to be had. His view is that thoughts don't come from "my" mind, but arise from what he calls "Universal Mind", and yet we identify with them as if the thoughts are actually ours. Mind and thoughts do not arise in you, but until you have achieved stillness, we do not experience thoughts in this way. Hence, his idea is that once stillness has been established, then one can begin to have "true agency" and actually accept/reject thoughts from a place of divine stillness. Even folks who are 'quote on quote' awakened, still report the experience where thoughts do show up, but they simply wave them away like flies on the window-shield of mind. That being said, I do agree with you that breath is the channel, amongst many others, that is very effective in quieting the internal space. Here is his quoted experience: But let us listen to Sri Aurobindo himself describe the experience as he first had it with another yogi, Bhaskar Lele, who spent three days with him: All developed mental men, those who get beyond the average, have in one way or other, or at least at certain times and for certain purposes to separate the two parts of the mind, the active part, which is a factory of thoughts and the quiet masterful part which is at once a Witness and a Will, observing them, judging, rejecting, eliminating, accepting, ordering corrections and changes, the Master in the House of Mind, capable of self-empire, samrajya. The Yogi goes still further, – he is not only a master there but even while in mind in a way, he gets out of it as it were, and stands above or quite back from it and free. For him the image of the factory of thoughts is no longer quite valid; for he sees that thoughts come from outside, from the universal Mind, or universal Nature, sometimes formed and distinct, sometimes unformed and then they are given shape somewhere in us. The principal business of our mind is either a response of acceptance or a refusal to these thought waves (as also vital waves, subtle physical energy waves) or this giving a personal-mental form to thought-stuff (or vital movements) from the environing Nature-Force. It was my great debt to Lele that he showed me this. "Sit in meditation," he said, "but do not think, look only at your mind; you will see thoughts coming into it; before they can enter throw these away from your mind till your mind is capable of entire silence." I had never heard before of thoughts coming visibly into the mind from outside, but I did not think either of questioning the truth of the possibility, I simply sat down and did it. In a moment my mind became silent as a windless air on a high mountain summit and then I was one thought and then another coming in a concrete way from outside; I flung them away before they could enter and take hold of the brain and in three days I was free. From that moment, in principle, the mental being in me became a free Intelligence, a universal Mind, not limited to the narrow circle of personal thoughts as a labourer in a thought factory, but a receiver of knowledge from all the hundred realms of being and free to choose what it willed in this vast sight-empire andthought-empire
  7. Commanding the Mind

    I've been reading the writings of Robert Adams and Sri Aurobindo lately, and they both talk about the ability for us to command the stillness of mind. After a certain amount of meditation experience, and one is in the realm of practicing throughout the day during life activities, one can literally just talk to the mind and say "BE STILL" and the mind will acquiesce. I have been putting this to the test, and I must say, it works! Just simply saying "be still" when you start to notice a cacophony of thoughts and the mind shuts up. Aurobindo talks alot about our own power to accept and reject thoughts, but he does see this as advanced practice, after a certain amount of equanimity is established. The command itself must come from a place of calm lordship over the mind, not from a place of agitation, for it to have the desired effect. I know that this goes against many traditions where you simply allow the mind to do what it does, and I do believe that this has value, however, at a certain point in one's development this practice makes sense. Thoughts?
  8. Thanks all, great advice. This showed up on the eve of my birthday, which was an amazing gift to say the least. Yes, gratefulness and enthusiasm is the resonant feeling... I noticed no one mentioned anything about integrating back into work mode after the retreat. My supervisor who has retreat experience said "don't worry about it, at the very least, it will be very interesting to go from a retreat center to a jail". Haha !!!
  9. Hi all, I have just been accepted to my first 10 day silent retreat in Northern Ca, and I am excited! It is a concentration retreat, in the Vipassana tradition. It is not a Goenka retreat, for those who are curious. My retreat ends on Tuesday, and I may have to return to work on Thursday. Is this feasible? I want to give myself some time to integrate and was a bit concerned by this detail, other than that I am ready to go. I have had a formal practice for 10 years now, and can sit comfortably for several hours. I know that a retreat is a completely different experience, but at the very least I do have some hours logged haha. I practice yoga regularly, so I feel physically ready and able to take this on. Other than that, I am just curious from those of you who have done silent retreats. What is some advice you wished others would have given you prior to your first time? All advice is welcome, thank you! PS. I feel incredibly blessed and grateful for this opportunity. This retreat is very expensive, I was initially told I could not attend due to my lack of formal retreat experience, I went out of my way to get this waived by writing a long letter, I was later gifted a scholarship, had to take days off work which was a fiasco, etc etc. In short, I feel many forces came to my assistance to make this a reality, and for that I am in awe
  10. OM

    Thank you! Yes, I could see this becoming addicting haha, but honestly the feeling I am getting from chanting this mantra is the same feeling I got when I first started practicing meditation, the sense that something very important had just entered my life. Yesterday, I chanted some more, and the nervous system just feels incredibly strong after, peaceful, thoughts dissolve, and more presence emerges as a result. I know this may sound silly, but I started laughing deep from my belly after a long session, it was like 'soul laughter', a recognition of the sublime inside me. Some tears ran down from my cheeks, because it was mixed with an emergent sense that the only response to this feeling is utter humility. Grace be to the lord, my heart sings! I've been looking for a teacher for a while 3bob and as of yet, none has arrived, so I continue the practice as best I can with my own resources and intuition. I do my best to practice seva, it's not always easy, but I make the attempts with the professional work that I do, which I consider to be karma yoga. My original question was asked to circumvent any issues that may arise, since I know this mantra can actually be incredibly powerful and may even overload the system if improperly used. Right now it is blissful, but very grounding as well, I can perform the tasks in my daily life with no sense of spaciness. This I feel, is incredibly important for my spiritual practice. I have no interest in becoming a bliss junkie, I recognize this because the tendency from my youth to chase highs is definitely there. It's funny because I remember years back, when I tried to listen to "OM" mantra chanting and I found it incredibly jarring, and very far from any holy or beautiful sound, it just sounded very guttural and strange. Now, it's the best sound in the world...
  11. OM

    The experience of profound bliss, peace and stillness continues with this mantra. I also feel a tremendous amount of prana flow through the body after the practice. I want to continue practicing this mantra slowly but steadily. Does anyone have any general outline on best practices, before/after meditation, etc...I understand this topic is very nuanced, and can go in many directions but would just like a general outlines of dos/dont's, best practices. Thank you...as a strange coincidence, or not, the acronym for my own name is actually OM. Imagine that ?
  12. Spring Forest Qigong - questions

    I've watched that video and practiced it, OldChi, but is it enough for the foundation of the practice? I am curious where I might be able to find a set of practices -affordably- I can begin to work with. Thoughts?
  13. Spring Forest Qigong - questions

    What's the best way to get started with SFQ for someone on a limited budget?
  14. Who here lifts weights?

    Been training for 7+ years over here. Yes, to incorporating breath, body-awareness and even spiritual practices like meditating during the lift. It can be a powerful adjunct to one's routine.
  15. OM

    This is wonderful, thank you. I have been chanting OM post-meditation and it has been powerful! My whole body vibrates and there is a tremendous peace that ensues. I will start to do more, but wow 108? That's amazing, I imagine that would be quite a long practice