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About CarsonZi

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  1. Patanjali's Sutras and Samyama questions

    Hi TI Not sure what I said that made you feel like I was attacking you, but I can assure you that there was no intention of attacking you at all in any of my posts. I apologize for writing in such as way so as to make it possible for you to interpret them as such. Unfortunately I think we both know that I can not give you any of the answers that you want. So this will be my last post to you here. I hope you find everything you are looking for in Life. I truly wish you the best on your path. Love, Carson
  2. Patanjali's Sutras and Samyama questions

    Hi TI Unfortunately I don't have the time (or the motivation to be honest) to go through everything you have posted and debate with you on each point. Especially since we both know you won't actually give anything I say a chance (you don't actually want my answers to your questions as you've told me straight up before). But I will say a couple of things about your post. When you asked about how one would answer the questions you posed about TM I would answer that in order to answer those questions, in order to *truly know* the answers, you would have to consistently practice TM, as prescribed, for a long enough period of time to be able to answer them from experience. You can't answer "Will TM meditation make me enlightened" by using analysis and reason... especially not without actually *doing* the practices consistently for a lengthy period of time. You can only know the answer to that question by *doing* TM consistently, as prescribed, for a long enough period of time that you could say from experience, "Yes it will" or "No it won't." And in my opinion, as indicated by your massive thread on the AYP forum "Where am I at now;" you haven't actually been doing AYP at all... at least not consistently for more than a few weeks at a time (anyone who reads through a couple of pages of your thread will easily see that you are constantly changing your practices and have been using variations of AYP almost the entire time). You said, "Budhha said, the cause of suffering is attachment. He did not say that the cause of suffering was analysis." Yes, for sure... but attachment to analysis is no different than attachment to anything else. ALL attachments must be let go of in order to release our suffering. Anyway, I really can't find the desire to read through and comment on the whole rest of your post... please forgive me. To me, it all comes down to the question, "Does AYP work?" For me, this is an absolute "Yes." But, as Yogani said in one of the quotes you posted of his, "AYP does not work for everyone." And it obviously doesn't work for you. I don't know what you are looking to get from your spiritual practices, but what I am looking for is simple.... I am looking to be able to enjoy my life as much as possible, to release as much suffering as I can, and to be able to be the best Dad, husband and friend I can be. Has AYP helped me to acheive (and continue to achieve) this? Hell yeah. Do I notice that my life gets messier when I don't do my practices? For sure. Have I found these kinds of results from the other kinds of spiritual practices I have done? No. I practiced Kriya Yoga consistently for a while, I practiced Kundalini Yoga consistently for a while, I was a Christian for well over a decade, and I have practiced shamanism for well over a decade as well. Have any of these other "modalities for transformation" helped me to notice even a shred of the benefits I have found with consistent long term AYP practice? Not even close. So, AYP does in fact work for me. I'm sorry it doesn't work for you. But don't you think that maybe, just maybe, instead of wasting all kinds of time and energy on crusading against AYP it would be much more advantageous to you and your path to spend that time and energy finding something that *does* work for you? I know it can be really easy to fall into the trap of wanting to "save others" from making the mistakes that we have on our paths, but really, we each have to learn our own lessons. I spent years trying to convince other Christians that Christianity didn't "work." It doesn't work for me, so it shouldn't for them right? And because I know it doesn't work I should warn others about falling into the trap of getting onto the Christian path right? Wrong. Christianity works for those it works for and who am I to tell another what kind of an approach they should use in order to connect to the Divine? That's all ego in my opinion. To me that is saying, "I know what is best for you... even better than you do." Which is not true and it is none of my business what methods another uses to better their lives.... whether it works for me or not. So, I (once again) suggest that you stop wasting so much time trying to understand, analyze and condemn a path that obviously doesn't work for you, stop trying to convince others that it would never work for them (when you obviously can't *KNOW* that) and spend some time finding something that *does* work for you and doing it. Wishing you all the best. Love! Carson
  3. Patanjali's Sutras and Samyama questions

    Obviously the thinking mind is needed and useful for being human, engaging in the world and interpretting and sharing ideas, concepts and philosophies. But if we could think ourselves into enlightenment, if we could think ourselves into a living experience of our true nature, there would be an awful lot more enlightened ones around (in my opinion). I know that personally, my mind and it's habitual patterns of thinking have been the source of a shit-load of suffering. And as (I believe it was) Einstein (who) said "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." So, in my experience, our rational, analytical mind can only take us so far. It cannot take us to a living experience of what is *beyond* the rational, analytical, sequential thinking mind. This is just *my* experience though and trying to use words to point to or even describe the experience of being beyond the thinking mind is pointless. As it says in ACIM "Words are but symbols of symbols thus twice removed from reality." So, obviously me *saying* that this is the way it is (for me) doesn't mean shit to anyone (but me). "Truth" can only be experienced and it doesn't appear that one person can "transfer" Truth to another. We all have to live our own experience and walk our own paths and trying to learn something or know something for another doesn't appear possible to me. All the best to each of you on your own paths. Love! Carson
  4. Patanjali's Sutras and Samyama questions

    continued.... I don't *need* to smoke pot and I never said I did. In fact, if you read my post linked above, I say; "....I went to a friend's house and purchased a single joint to smoke on my way home. I have the next few evenings off from teaching classes and I sometimes like to celebrate a successful retreat by partaking of "the herb."" The choice to smoke pot was for me, a celebration of a successful retreat and of Life in general. I rarely smoke anymore as some external conditions have to be just right in order for me to imbibe, but the situation was just right at that time so I made the decision to smoke. This was done with a similar attitude as a Catholic/Christian would have when partaking of the sacrament/communion (which in many churches is alcoholic FYI ). I'm conscious of the fact that I have a personal tendency towards enjoying the effects of smoking pot, just the same way that you are aware of the fact that you have a personal tendency towards enjoying the effects of cigarettes. I find that as long as I approach marijuana use with what I would determine as "right intention" (along with severe moderation), I don't have any issues with having a smoke (personally). We each have our own tendencies and things we enjoy. Bringing awareness to these tendencies is the first step towards being able to release them completely. This is just my opinion. Yoga to me is a set of tools that when utilized in an effective, stable and consistent way, create fertile ground for the realization of our fullest potential as human beings. It is not a trip for me. For me yoga is a way of life.... but not a way to escape life. So I do my yoga practices, twice a day, and then go do whatever it is that I am inclined to do. Which on occasion includes having a beer or smoking a joint if the situation feels right. Personally, I use marijuana for a few different reasons, but I personally never use it to enhance meditation (it makes me waaaaaay too sensitive to the internal energies to engage in any formal practices). The main reason I use marijuana is to induce a state of "forced inquiry." When I get stoned I am put into a state of mind where, when I look at myself (through a variety of techniques) I see "ego pockets" that I have previously been unconscious to. Then, I spend the next while working on loosening those pockets (again through a variety of techniques) and eventually releasing them completely. The only ill effects I find from the occasional use of marijuana is that if it is smoked late in the evening it can be challenging to get up the next morning for my practices (I sometimes just want to sleep). Other than that, it seems quite beneficial (for me) if I use it with awareness and proper intention and in moderation. To each their own right? So does walking down specific streets, seeing certain movies/commercials, and hanging around with certain friends, etc etc etc. Eventually we have to take responsibility for our own lives. I don't really care much about how people judge me (hence my ability to be brutally honest about myself with others). To me, it's all about how I feel about *myself*. I live my life based on my own set of values, not someone else's (this is why religion didn't work for me and part of the reason why AYP does). Think what you want about me TI, but ultimately, how I live and conduct my life is really only my business, not yours, not AYP's. One day you are going to have to point that laser at yourself and judge yourself using the same ruler you are using on everyone else. Not sure exactly what you mean by that, but sure. Happy to drop it whenever you wish. Love! Carson
  5. Patanjali's Sutras and Samyama questions

    Hi TI Interpretation is a funny thing. So is memory. Sounds about right. I remember being at a pre-retreat dinner with a bunch of fellow AYPers all enjoying some homecooked Indian food, a few desserts and some great company. There were all kinds of beverages available, some with alcohol, most without. This dinner had nothing to do with "AYP" and it was just a group of friends getting together for dinner before going to a retreat. So lets drop the insinuations that there was any drinking, by anyone, at an AYP retreat. Didn't happen. As far as trying to tie Yogani and/or the AYP system, (or AYP practitioners in general really) to recommending alcohol or drugs, well, that's a pretty hard sell considering Yogani takes a pretty firm public stance on it: Yup I remember ( ). The "realization" took place *before* the Checkstop incident, but, no-matter..... If you mean the comment would have been rejected, it may have been, it may not have been. I personally would have had no problem with you posting the below in that thread. If you meant that *you* would have been banned for the below comment, I can assure you that would not have happened. No one has ever been banned for a single comment, and I can promise that you would not have been the first. The reason I mentioned I was stoned was because I wanted to talk about the shift that had happened (which was to embody a knowing/seeing that all thought/emotion/sensations/etc are "objects" separate from "myself") but I wanted to be upfront about the catalyst for the event. Doesn't do anyone a service to lie by omission about that in my opinion. And, I have no "position" at AYP so I didn't feel like I was in jeopardy of tarnishing AYP's good name by sharing that I will still on occasion smoke pot. I'm not on any payroll for AYP, when I lead AYP retreats I only ask that my expenses are paid and that is done by the retreat organizer not AYP. And although I do teach the AYP system in a few yoga studios I'm paid by the studios not by AYP. And I'm upfront with everyone who is curious about my past and my current activities both in my classes and at the studio. I don't feel any desire to hide from anyone. continued below.....
  6. Patanjali's Sutras and Samyama questions

    Hi TI You sure are good at putting a specific "slant" on things! Hahaha. The "Satsang" you went to, was at my house (in 2008), and there were literally only 3 of us there including you and myself, and it was just us getting together to meditate. No "Satsang" involved. I offered you a beer (as well as a water, juice or tea if I remember correctly, it was so long ago I can't remember for sure if I even offered you a beer) as a mere courtesy, not as peer pressure. I do the same to anyone who comes into my home, whether they are coming for a meditation or for dinner... just a courtesy. AND, as many of the Taobums who've been around for a while may remember, back then (2008) I was still downdosing off of the methadone program and using marijuana regularly, so, offering someone a beer didn't seem like a big deal (it's not like I offered you some of my methadone). Just a formality. Oh, and just for the record, when you came over to meditate at my house I wasn't an "AYP Leader," I was just a guy opening his home to others who wanted to do AYP Deep Meditation with a few other people. Again, as many of the older Taobums members may remember, I was an active hallucinogen user for well over a decade. And I have had a large collection of Alexander Shulgin's psychoactive phenethylamines and tryptamines in my house for years.... still do in fact as throwing them in the garbage may result in some getting into an unsuspecting person or animal's system accidentally (through a variety of means). At no time did I ever OFFER you drugs, nor suggest to you that if you wanted them that I would make them available to you. Suggesting otherwise is a complete lie. Speaking of lying, this ^ is another. I have taught 6 AYP retreats over the past year or so and there has not once EVER been ANYONE who has drank alcohol during the retreat. There have been dinners *after* a retreat where some of the attendees may have had a beer or a glass of wine, but what someone does during their own time is of no consequence to me or to AYP. Hell, if someone *really* wanted to drink even while on an AYP retreat, if they had it (it's never been an option at any of the retreat centers I've taught at), they are more then welcome to do as they wish as long as it doesn't infringe on anyone else's right to get as much from the retreat as they can. Well, considering you've never been to an AYP retreat, I don't think you are qualified to comment on the quality control standards AYP or it's leaders have. But you're right, everyone *does* have a great time! Anyway, I think you should go get a job at a mass media outlet somewhere TI... your ability to "put a specific spin" on things is really really incredible and I think you would do very good in that kind of an environment. And, while you're in the city looking for that job why don't you come over again and have a meditation with me! I promise I won't offer you a beer this time, and I'll put my box of leftover "goodies" in the shed too. Love! Carson
  7. The "i-thought"

    Hi Kate and All Liberate from suffering IMO. Just my opinion though. Sure there is the odd Buddhist here who would say "liberate from the cycle of death and rebirth". Love!
  8. The "i-thought"

    Hi Paul and All When the I-thoughts are no longer given any power by choosing not to believe in them, the "loathing" also becomes just another thought/emotion that is seen through quite easily. Who is there to loath? (the answer is: only the ego) When the I-thoughts are not identified with and are allowed to release as they do, then there is just living/being. Then there is no loathing as there is no one to do the loathing. All is seen as the Self, the illusion of separation no longer has a foothold in the mind. Everything is fine just the way it is....even what the mind wants to label as bad/ugly/wrong/negative/etc. There is equanimity. Perhaps I am just really slow today, but I have been reading your post over and over and trying to understand what you are saying, and I am having real difficulty. Based on what I THINK you are saying, I would respond with this: Control is seen as an illusion when the I-thoughts are no longer believed in. All we can really control is our actions in the moment and even that is a bit of a stretch as shakti can have a mind of it's own sometimes (just my experience). Also, baggage truly doesn't exist when the I-thoughts are not believed in because everything is seen as necessary. Even that which is difficult/a struggle/negative/etc. When the I-thoughts are not believed in, when something difficult/horrific/"bad" etc happens, it is seen as what it is....just a judgement in the mind....not reality. The ego is what judges. When the ego (collection of I-Thoughts) is not believed there is no one left to judge things as good or bad, right or wrong, baggage or freedom. Everything just is as it is, and that is perfect. The mind is allowed to rest in it's true nature, which is Silence (IME). Actually, I'm still not sure what you are positing. Very likely I am just slow today Believe it or not, I actually know from personal experience what it is like to live from a place of "non-suffering". I rarely suffer over anything anymore. In the past I suffered 24/7. But even though I know what it is like to live from a place of "non-suffering" I still remember what the "noise" over suffering was about. I know exactly why I was suffering. I suffered non-stop because I believed in 90% of the thoughts that were running through my head. I believed "I" was right....I believed "my" perspective was the only right perspective....that "I" knew best for everyone. I believed that the world was shit, that humanity was shit. I believed that I was a alone, that I was separate from everything around me, and I believed in all the value judgments I placed on myself. All these beliefs (and many more) caused me endless suffering. So no, even though I generally live from a place of non-suffering, I do not wonder what all the noise was about. I know what all the noise was about. I just don't believe it anymore. I guess there is no journey in that All is Now.....but it is also "the journey" (of aquiring personal experience and purifying the human nervous system to the point where it is a clear vessel) that leads to the realizing that All is Now. From one perspective all there is is the journey. If it is possible to leap, then there is still "someone" doing something. Hard to resist taking "the leap" if you don't know that leaping is an option. This is all to say that yes, from one perspective there is no journey....but from another, all there is is the journey. From the perspective here these perspectives are not mutually exclusive. It's a paradox. Can't have both "no journey" and a "fence". If there is a fence, then there is a journey. Again, from one perspective both the fence and the journey are illusion. From another they are both totally real.....until they aren't anymore. When everything is seen as perfect and there is no "positive" or "negative" (because the I-thoughts are no longer believed in), EVERYTHING is as green as everything else. Then there is no fence, no journey, no better or worse, just pure existence. I remember EXACTLY what it is like to suffer. But my previous suffering, my previous "life" of believing "my stories" is now seen as perfection. It was all completely necessary. Without a single moment of the previous suffering, the perfection that is seen in everything right now would not be Known. Nothing happens by accident, there are no coincidences, and everything that happens is completely necessary. Including suffering. When the labels are seen as illusion, everything just is what it is. No more longing for anything. Everything is known to be perfect in and of itself. And yes, perfect is just a label too, and it is also seen as illusion. It's a paradox Love! edited for HTML code
  9. The "i-thought"

    Hi Paul Not sure I understand what you mean here.....or maybe I don't get how what you are saying relates to my post. Perhaps you can restate? To me, our birthright is a living experience void of suffering. But to go through life without any suffering would be meaningless. We have to suffer (for a while) in order to fully appreciate NOT suffering anymore. This is just my perspective though. Yours may differ. I just can't see going through one's entire life from a place of no suffering could be anywhere as awesome as buying into the our stories that cause suffering for a while, only to drop them later. The contrast makes everything that much brighter. Again, IMO. Yes, beautiful is just a label. Such is life when language is our key way of communicating. In order to express our perspective we must put (inadequate) words to that which can't be described. Liberation (to me) is no longer identifying with the labels. It is no longer identifying with the "I-thought". It is no longer suffering. @Kate You said "Dumb question of the thread. How did we get to "ego" from "i-thought"?" I think it probably has something to do with the fact that the ego is a collection of "I-Thoughts". Not really that far of a stretch. Just my perspective. Love!
  10. Haiku Chain

    Love overflowing Prostrating in surrender I humbly let go Uninhibited Resting in the Divine flow All is perfection Suffering is gone Embracing the whole of Life Pure bliss consciousness Nothing left to do We become a conduit All is seen as Self Arriving back home The journey has just begun Time to start living Emptiness is known To be empty of itself Nothing left to be Except life itself. Love!
  11. The "i-thought"

    In my opinion, and this is purely my opinion, the I-thought exists for the purpose of "contrast". If we existed without the I-thought right from the beginning, if we existed as pure "being-ness" and knew nothing else, Life could not be nearly as blissful as it is when having bought into the I-thought lie/illusion (the lie/illusion that we are our ego/body/thoughts/ideas/beliefs/etc) for a while and then dropping it. In my experience I have spent most of my life suffering needlessly because of identifying myself with something I am not. BUT, having gone through these experiences makes NOT having these experiences anymore that much more beautiful. It's like having all light all the time with no experience of darkness. Without some darkness we can not truly enjoy the beauty of the light, and vice versa. So, this is all to say that the I-thought exists so that we can experience the true joy of leaving it behind (meaning choose to stop identifying with it). Again, all just my opinion/experience and yours may/can/will be different Love!
  12. Sexual vocabulary

    Hey Ninpo Sorry, perhaps I wasn't being clear. I didn't mean to say that sexual obsession was a "Western" thing....I know it is not. What I was meaning to say is that the English language could benefit from having a wider variety of terms for the sexual anatomy. Some that are clinical, some that are vulgar and some that have a spiritual connotation to them (and perhaps some that span the entire spectrum as well). The English language seems to lack spiritual terms for the sexual anatomy. Sex/no-sex (depending on your persuation and your personal preference for spiritual practice) is an important part of spiritual practice. Wether one chooses to be celibate, chooses retention, chooses left-hand path tantra or any other approach to the sexual aspect of life, it is an important part of the spiritual journey to address the sexual aspect of being human. To negate the import of bringing sex into the spiritual realm is to do us all a disservice. If one wishes to be liberated, then one has to deal with the "sex issue" can not be denied. But it is difficult to put the proper emphasis on sex in regards to spiritual practice when our English vocabulary is limited to clinical and vulgar terms. Just my opinion. Love!
  13. The "i-thought"

    Great topic! To me, it is not the "I-thought" that is necessarily the "problem" (not that anything is actually a problem ). It is the IDENTIFICATION with the "I-thought" that can become a problem. I don't think that anyone can fully irradicate the "I-thought" (basically synonymous with the ego IMO)....what we CAN do is stop identifying with the I-thought. This is why mindfulness and silence cultivation are so important IME. When one is adept at being mindful it is easy/easier to see the I-thoughts when they arise....combine that with an active Silence cultivation practice and it becomes easy/easier to choose not to identify with the I-thoughts when they arise as the mind knows it itself as Silence. This is just my experience though....your milage may vary Love!