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A great deal of our growth in the arena of expanding our awareness and on the path of enlightenment has more to do with the simple basics and far less to do with the so called "advanced" practices. Advanced practice is reached primarily from basic practice. Basic practice becomes advanced all on its own. As you progress on the path, the simple teachings are in fact by a very long shot the most important and the easiest to skip over - pushing them aside in a race to "master" the basics. It can also be hard to think straight in your teens and early 20s with what for some of us is a raging hormone storm and this may create the feeling of the urgency to "master" the basics aside from the intense desire to do so. Included in the basics are meditation, some breathing techniques, and some posture basics. Often wholly brushed aside is diet - or as is freqently the case - it is an egotistical way of life diet of only organic items and a very full identification with this diet (certainly nothing wrong with the diet - it is a very good diet - but the identification is often so enuciated it should be obviously an area to work on). Also brushed aside in general is the Ego - we see this all across these boards - statements of surety that is so obviously way beyond actual experience, the over use of quotes as though this redeems a lack of thinking or real experience. Almost no desire to consider what Right Thinking actually might mean - little discussion of it if any - an assumed understanding - ["my" understanding] Right view Right intention Ethical conduct Right action Right effort Right mindfulness Right concentration Take right effort: About 99% of the effort is done towards Gain The gaining of advanced practice skills, and the effort to maintain a good practice in order to continue "up" along the path. We indulge in poor food, alcohol, smoking and a limitless supply of energy reducing behaviours and think nothing of it. Even if we eat well, do not smoke and our drinking is none or well within a composed fashion, we attach ourselves to every cause under the sun and compress huge amounts of judgement into them and cast our will about the universe with abandon - often ready to pounce upon any protrusion from our indefatigable indignation. We practice this daily! It is our story and our biggest practice! It is primarily how we die - and how most of us are completely dead by the age of 45 - deadend to our story - our treasured illusion. We come out of it briefly in our old age when it hits us that we have been way off and need to purcase some insurance. Or we do not come out of it - and our after death is quite a delay for us. Another thing we skip over - though this practice is now coming to light - is the mindfulness to those energies we have come to know: If you have come to feel a particular chakra or energy center - try to stay aware of it at all times. This is a primary way to Awaken Say you feel the warmth of your 4th chakra in meditation and everytime you put your awareness on it you can feel it - then put your attention on it and be with it during the day. Slowly but surely it will be present more and more - and with it will come an increase in other awarenesses as well. Soon you will be more in this space than not - perhaps all the time. Practice not venting your energies on your story - stay with your being - notice when you leave your awareness space - you will find it leaves you often during the "you" that you believe you know best (the one you identify with). Many of the most "advanced" practices become your story - your new story - you are identified with your prowess of stretching, your ability to do some esoteric practice - and your ability to use the word esoteric as though you know what it means to be inside the innermost 3rd circle. If you ignore the basics - the balancing basics, then learning the "higher" forms present much more danger than they afford apportunity and growth. Another form of over engineering comes from fear - but this is a long enough beginning for now. Please join this discussion!