Shad282

The Now as a spiritual escapism.

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Many times, I've been told when thoughts that makes me feel sad or have a an emotion that is not desirable and such that i should be in the now and not dwell on the past or what is going to happen.

 

It is true that not thinking or just thinking about what is in the now.. makes me feel better and relax and such... but i see it as a kind of escapism of the thoughts that makes me feel sad...it is like not dealing with them and with what they are trying to point to.. and running into the now where they don't exist. 

 

No matter how a person stays in the now and train his mind to be in the present moment, there are triggers that is going to appear in the now that will awaken back the thoughts he tried to escape from by altering his focusing in the now. these thoughts will always stay there waiting for you to get triggered or lose your focus back into them to.

 

these thoughts are there for a reason, and demand your attention to be healed and transformed. they are the result of the past and exist in the now, but need to be triggered and if not healed, they will be in your future.

 

what do you think, is it an escapism? and how to actually deal with these thoughts without escaping them?

 

Thank you :)

Edited by Shad282
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Vacations are or aren't escapism.

Has one earned it?

Or is it financed?

 

The past is past and should have taught us something.

The future holds many lessons as well if we are aware.

Likewise now is a lesson and a gift.

 

If we can enjoy the moment the rest comes easy.

 

The struggle lies in this moment, or not.

That's our choice.

Moment by moment choices ...

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A lot of time, I've been told when thoughts that makes me feel sad or have a an emotion that is not desirable and such that i should be in the now and not dwell on the past or what is going to happen.

 

It is true that not thinking or just thinking about what is in the now.. makes me feel better and relax and such... but i see it as a kind of escapism of the thoughts that makes me feel sad...it is like not dealing with them and with what they are trying to point to.. and running into the now where they don't exist. 

 

No matter how a person stays in the now and train his mind to be in the present moment, there are triggers that is going to appear in the now that will awaken back the thoughts he tried to escape from by altering his focusing in the now. these thoughts will always stay there waiting for you to get triggered or lose your focus back into them to.

 

these thoughts are there for a reason, and demand your attention to be healed and transformed. they are the result of the past and exist in the now, but need to be triggered and if not healed, they will be in your future.

 

what do you think, is it an escapism? and how to actually deal with these thoughts without escaping them?

 

Thank you :)

It can't be done, you can enjoy the moment but you cannot stay in the moment. Our survival and happiness requires long range planning anything else is evasion. There are times in every life where we feel it is impossible to know what to do next, we remain frozen like rabbits in the headlights of our own fear, or perhaps we drift along hardly caring, but our continued existence eventually means we must do something or we experience a sense of increasing panic, frustration and guilt at the amount of time that has passed.

 

Mostly the thoughts are conflicts between what we think we should be and what we are, perhaps between what we think we should have done, but what we avoided, or an evasion of our present circumstance by trying to live in a moment of time.

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Thinking mind is best as a tool.  When you have problems, use it to solve them, now.  Think, deduce, chew on it and when you're done, let it go.. get back to quiet mind. 

 

 

re-reading the OP, I'd add, when your sad,  its okay to be sad.  Its okay to be angry, just control your actions and decisions then.   To me, such feelings, don't need 'thinking', I just am and always the emotions settle down.  Unless I think and use memory to prod myself, keep repeating why I'm mad or sad.  From there imagine scenario's that'll make me angrier and/or more loss. 

 

In that case I'm indulging in the worst of the thinking mind.  Better to just be sad or mad, go through the process then if needed use that thinking mind to work on something solution oriented. 

Edited by thelerner
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Thinking mind is best as a tool.  When you have problems, use it to solve them, now.  Think, deduce, chew on it and when you're done, let it go.. get back to quiet mind. 

but it is that process between the problems arising and reaching back to the quiet mind.

if you get stuck in that process, it might take days, months and sometimes years to find a solution and reach back to the quiet mind.

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but it is that process between the problems arising and reaching back to the quiet mind.

if you get stuck in that process, it might take days, months and sometimes years to find a solution and reach back to the quiet mind.

There isn't a totally quiet mind, there is a quiescence when something is completed and we can rest and contemplate the achievement with a sense of pride and feel happiness at the accomplishment of a task well done.

 

To understand that there is no necessity for a quiet mind only an untroubled mind, that neither a busy, nor an troubled mind should be regarded as anything that shouldn't be. So, sort out the trouble and come to terms with tthe possbility of more trouble in future and that the mind will be busy when it is and quiescent at other times. Take time to enjoy the moments as they arise, but don't wish them to arise, force them to remain, nor try to gain them dishonestly.

Edited by Karl
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but it is that process between the problems arising and reaching back to the quiet mind.

if you get stuck in that process, it might take days, months and sometimes years to find a solution and reach back to the quiet mind.

I think the quiet mind (and Karl may be right, its not perfectly quiet, rather stepping away from conversations with yourself; being the back seat driver that reads every sign post and comments on every sight),  is our birthright and always available to us. We don't need to wait, days or months for it.  It is always there at our center, accessible.   We sell that birthright, give away our peace, way too cheaply,  clinging to nonsense that'll change and fade.  

 

We need to get a sense of our quiet mind, and a path back to it.  Maybe its different for everyone.  For some a piece of classic music, or heavy metal.   For others a walk in the park, or remembering such.  For others just the ability to realize they're not under attack right now, until that happens, they can relax and be at peace.   Cause right right now, things are fine, most likely.

 

I should add its one of those things that is simple but not easy.  When our buttons are pushed for some ungodly reason we're more likely to repeatedly poke ourselves with emotional needles, then go towards our inner peace. 

Edited by thelerner
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Usually bad feelings arise due to something challenging our ability to get to where we want to be, or fear of losing what we already have.

 

Our fears and problems come from bad experiences, or from gradual overcomplicating within. When we begin to think negative thoughts, we're laying the foundations for an intensified feeling of unhappiness later.

 

Such thoughts are like shackles on the mind. You can either let them hold you down while you rot, or you can learn how to pick the lock. If there is no solution, then the problem does not really exist.

 

Escapism suggests you're trying to run away from an issue...which shouldn't be the case. Instead we're knocking down a poorly constructed belief and replacing it with stronger/happier foundation.

 

Problems occur when people ignore their inferior mental infrastructure, trying to make it look pretty by putting colourful posters on the walls. That will never last long. Eventually the posters begin to peel off, and the cracks show once again. Like you've said, we can't truly be in the now until we've unraveled the problems of before.

 

Being in "the now" is the ideal state to be in, because it means we have learnt to deal with problems head on, or avoid them all together. It shouldn't be a place that we aim to run away to for safety.

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Many times, I've been told when thoughts that makes me feel sad or have a an emotion that is not desirable and such that i should be in the now and not dwell on the past or what is going to happen.

 

It is true that not thinking or just thinking about what is in the now.. makes me feel better and relax and such... but i see it as a kind of escapism of the thoughts that makes me feel sad...it is like not dealing with them and with what they are trying to point to.. and running into the now where they don't exist. 

 

No matter how a person stays in the now and train his mind to be in the present moment, there are triggers that is going to appear in the now that will awaken back the thoughts he tried to escape from by altering his focusing in the now. these thoughts will always stay there waiting for you to get triggered or lose your focus back into them to.

 

these thoughts are there for a reason, and demand your attention to be healed and transformed. they are the result of the past and exist in the now, but need to be triggered and if not healed, they will be in your future.

 

what do you think, is it an escapism? and how to actually deal with these thoughts without escaping them?

 

Thank you :)

 

 

You are conflating an idea of "the now" to the standard, very common result of aversion.  You are right in that what you describe is a type of escapism - in other words it is "avoidance".  That has nothing to do with "the now" as a reality - which is the totality of experience, the inescapable fullness and emptiness of infinity, the potential of all things.  In other words, when you are being present in "the now" you cannot avoid or deny any thoughts, emotions, sensations, etc. but at the same time they do not control your actions or dominate your identity.  You are overlooking the aspect of "being present" when it comes to "the now".

 

It is of course much more common to avoid any kind of uncomfortable experience - and you can use whatever you want to avoid it - alcohol, drugs, books, movies, meditation, martial arts, or "the now".  The act of avoiding can take any form whatsoever.  All you have to do is set out with that intent, and any behavior can serve that purpose.  At the same time if you set out with the intent of being present, any behavior can serve that purpose as well.  If you are not able to use intent to this degree, you may require a set of guidelines or precepts to help you - but eventually you have to drop the training wheels and get serious with your own life, your own experience.

 

Then there is the idea of "indulgence" as well.  Sometimes people actually become more comfortable repeating the same unpleasant emotions and thoughts - they become "comfortably numb" in their little subjective world and effectively retire from any sort of possible growth or evolution in an objective sense.  So, it is also possible to "dwell" on the past or future to a degree that is certainly detrimental - but this is more about the phenomena of "dwelling" on anything in general.  Another word for it is "indulging".  Its too much, its over the line, its not necessary - its like a hamster wheel where you are constantly running but getting nowhere.  This is related to the idea being discussed in another thread where you either work to make yourself happy or work to make yourself miserable - but the amount of work is the same.  

 

You have a finite amount of energy in this human body in this human life, and you can use it any number of ways.  Most people have no idea of this concept and therefore they serve only the civilized human world with its civilized human concerns.  However the natural world is much greater than humanity alone, and if you wish to take part in this greater reality you must utilize your finite energy in another way besides the standard civilized model.  The reason I am bringing this up is because most of the standard ways people "waste" energy can be easily transplanted to esoteric systems, philosophies, occult practices, meditations and so forth.  In other words, intent always overrides the practice, whatever it may be.  These tools can be used simply to further serve the same rat race, just with a different mask, a different background, a different setting.  Its something you should watch out for.  Trungpa called it "spiritual materialism".  You will be lucky if you find the kind of practice that wont let you go when you encounter such a dissonance personally - its very challenging to deal with, but a damn good omen in the end.  Thats when it gets "real", as they say.

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In a dream I was told I had to remove my hijackers before I could cross the bridge, and this meant actively working on emotions that overtake my mind such as fear, shame, sadness etc. I have made a practice of looking for and wrestling with these hijackers and removing them one by one, and I have found the results of this to be quite rewarding in the long run as my True Self is slowly revealed, if I had my life to live over again I wouldn't choose any other path :)  

Edited by Bindi
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"The past is never dead. ¬†It¬īs not even past." ¬†William Faulkner

 

Bad memories and thoughts that bring sadness...these things are part of a person¬īs internal experience and exist in the NOW. ¬†Sure, they might seem to relate to the past but if they are happening now, well then they belong to the NOW just the same. ¬†Being in the now means not ignoring what is. ¬†What is might be happy or sad. ¬†It could be the smell of a rose or the stink of despair. ¬†

Edited by liminal_luke
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The thoughts appear, again and yet again, when we are holding onto them.

 

Often when we "think" about them we still don't really digest the issues that stirred them up.

 

When there is a problem in the empire, messengers are sent to the ruler. Should the ruler keep the messengers engaged in endless discussions, or should they acknowledge it and move on to the resolution?

 

Often all that is needed to resolve the situation that is sending you messages, is to listen, acknowledge, and change. The question is often how do we change appropriately? Things can be very complicated, and our intellect doesn't know the right answer. This is the problem that comes from the intellect thinking it has to know everything. When it recognizes that it is just one part of a whole process of systems, it can simply set its entire intent maintaining the whole. This is its role to play - listen, acknowledge, and adjust to maintain the whole. It is no different than standing on two feet and walking. We constantly micro-adjust to maintain our balance, but we don't think about it, we just maintain our intent.

 

So meditation can be a time where we still and listen within to all thing things we haven't had time to acknowledge, to really face all the things we've accumulated in our exposure to the outside world every day. Just like eating, the things we see and hear in the outside world have their inner need for digestion and processing. We listen, and our inner world feels heard, and it is able to relax and release the tension that comes from needing to be heard. Sometimes we eat a bit too much and need to avoid certain activities - we come to know this naturally, by listening and acknowledging. The same is true of everything else we consume - it can just be harder to hear, if we don't take the time.

 

And just like eating too much food, we can easily stuff ourselves with emotional and intellectual buffers that continuously take so long to process that we never truly are able to face our true selves. We run away because it is easier than to face what we've created within. It takes guts to stop and look back at who we really are and shoulder the responsibility of our actions. But really all we need to do is stop and listen and acknowledge in sincerity. We are what we are, and we are beautiful - most of all when we are humble and sincere.

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You are conflating an idea of "the now" to the standard, very common result of aversion.  You are right in that what you describe is a type of escapism - in other words it is "avoidance".  That has nothing to do with "the now" as a reality - which is the totality of experience, the inescapable fullness and emptiness of infinity, the potential of all things.  In other words, when you are being present in "the now" you cannot avoid or deny any thoughts, emotions, sensations, etc. but at the same time they do not control your actions or dominate your identity.  You are overlooking the aspect of "being present" when it comes to "the now".

 

It is of course much more common to avoid any kind of uncomfortable experience - and you can use whatever you want to avoid it - alcohol, drugs, books, movies, meditation, martial arts, or "the now".  The act of avoiding can take any form whatsoever.  All you have to do is set out with that intent, and any behavior can serve that purpose.  At the same time if you set out with the intent of being present, any behavior can serve that purpose as well.  If you are not able to use intent to this degree, you may require a set of guidelines or precepts to help you - but eventually you have to drop the training wheels and get serious with your own life, your own experience.

 

Then there is the idea of "indulgence" as well.  Sometimes people actually become more comfortable repeating the same unpleasant emotions and thoughts - they become "comfortably numb" in their little subjective world and effectively retire from any sort of possible growth or evolution in an objective sense.  So, it is also possible to "dwell" on the past or future to a degree that is certainly detrimental - but this is more about the phenomena of "dwelling" on anything in general.  Another word for it is "indulging".  Its too much, its over the line, its not necessary - its like a hamster wheel where you are constantly running but getting nowhere.  This is related to the idea being discussed in another thread where you either work to make yourself happy or work to make yourself miserable - but the amount of work is the same.  

 

You have a finite amount of energy in this human body in this human life, and you can use it any number of ways.  Most people have no idea of this concept and therefore they serve only the civilized human world with its civilized human concerns.  However the natural world is much greater than humanity alone, and if you wish to take part in this greater reality you must utilize your finite energy in another way besides the standard civilized model.  The reason I am bringing this up is because most of the standard ways people "waste" energy can be easily transplanted to esoteric systems, philosophies, occult practices, meditations and so forth.  In other words, intent always overrides the practice, whatever it may be.  These tools can be used simply to further serve the same rat race, just with a different mask, a different background, a different setting.  Its something you should watch out for.  Trungpa called it "spiritual materialism".  You will be lucky if you find the kind of practice that wont let you go when you encounter such a dissonance personally - its very challenging to deal with, but a damn good omen in the end.  Thats when it gets "real", as they say.

My own experience is that this is broadly right, but an over complication of something far more simple. It is this complication combined with mysticism and badly defined terms that has led to confusion, gurus, retreats and a myriad of advice coupled with businesses.

 

If our minds are so jumbled up with thoughts it's usually because we are unsettled in some way, the world isn't making sense to us and we feel add odds with life. Instead of dealing with life as lots of people do day to day, instead our minds churn constantly and produce strong emotions which are mostly fear, unhappiness, guilt and misery sometimes I dispersed with a manic kind of over exuberant happiness.

 

First we have to stop trying to fit in and realise the machine is broken-we have to accept that we are basically a mess and no amount of trying to evade, rectify or lifestyle is going to make it better. Basically we are just feeding more stuff into an ever more confused mind which reacts by churning even more.

 

We have to hear our minds in an impartial sense, to act as witness to our thoughts in order to give us a chance. This process can be long and confused in itself-it can add to the confusion if it is done without the right sense of what is trying to be achieved. We should not be trying to rectify, find bliss, go astral flying, lucid dreaming, healing, gain powers or any other thing. All that is necessary is to gain sufficient quietness to sort out the thoughts arising. It's like counting to ten before saying something we regret.

 

We can get that space through meditation. We should realise that this is forcing ourselves to sit physically still and begin the process of mental surveillance. We are observing. Sitting in awareness of our thoughts, neither pushing them away, or rejecting them. It is an introspective process in which we become aware that thoughts are distinct and seperate from the external world.

 

It's at this point that there is a danger of divorcing external from internal by making consciousness awareness the focus and ascribing to it powers of control. It happened to me, I see it in the posts I read on this forum. The whole process becomes distorted as another little ego is developed. It is a more confident ego than the confused one that it replaces. It gives the feeling of being in a kind of special club, having a knowing, being slightly/greatly remote and aloof from all the other people who haven't learned this special secret way-but, I can tell you that most people are already well adjusted and don't need to sort out a head full of loose wiring. If we head down this route we are only adding to the mess, but, at least for a while it feels we captain the ship and get a sort of blissful, ecstatic calm. However, though it may last minutes, hours, or years, it is temporary only. Eventually the walls of our little ego will be breached either all at once, or bit by bit.

 

So, let's not add to the confusion, let's not replace one little ego with another. Instead, be introspective and watch the thoughts arise without attempting to do anything. That's ALL that is necessary, to be aware through our waking hours of the jumble of thoughts that are blooming. It begins to happen through short sessions of active, aware, physically quiescence and then carries across to our every day lives. This is really what staying in the moment is, but it's really far more simple-it is awareness of our thoughts on an increasing basis. Once this awareness has stuck then we begin to exert control on those thoughts by clearing up the confused philosophies from which they Spring. It's possible, I think, to go straight from A to B missing out the meditation, but, something in the minds need for water wings at first, before swimming, takes away some of the terror of diving straight in.

 

The point is to develop the strong ego. Instead of the fractured, manufactured small egos that generally make us feel scared, unloved and unlovable. When talking of 'killing the ego', that is a bad approach, we kill one weed and another pops up like wacka-mole. If we get to the state of actually killing all the wacka-moles by self inquiry carpet bombing we are in danger of falling into a pit in which we lose all sense of life completely. It's a little suicide of the mind and I imagine, in the mind of the less stable it can become real suicide. This little suicide is only another state which is recoverable by going back to square one and simply being aware of arising thoughts without doing anything else.

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My own experience is that this is broadly right, but an over complication of something far more simple. It is this complication combined with mysticism and badly defined terms that has led to confusion, gurus, retreats and a myriad of advice coupled with businesses.

 

If our minds are so jumbled up with thoughts it's usually because we are unsettled in some way, the world isn't making sense to us and we feel add odds with life. Instead of dealing with life as lots of people do day to day, instead our minds churn constantly and produce strong emotions which are mostly fear, unhappiness, guilt and misery sometimes I dispersed with a manic kind of over exuberant happiness.

 

First we have to stop trying to fit in and realise the machine is broken-we have to accept that we are basically a mess and no amount of trying to evade, rectify or lifestyle is going to make it better. Basically we are just feeding more stuff into an ever more confused mind which reacts by churning even more.

 

We have to hear our minds in an impartial sense, to act as witness to our thoughts in order to give us a chance. This process can be long and confused in itself-it can add to the confusion if it is done without the right sense of what is trying to be achieved. We should not be trying to rectify, find bliss, go astral flying, lucid dreaming, healing, gain powers or any other thing. All that is necessary is to gain sufficient quietness to sort out the thoughts arising. It's like counting to ten before saying something we regret.

 

We can get that space through meditation. We should realise that this is forcing ourselves to sit physically still and begin the process of mental surveillance. We are observing. Sitting in awareness of our thoughts, neither pushing them away, or rejecting them. It is an introspective process in which we become aware that thoughts are distinct and seperate from the external world.

 

It's at this point that there is a danger of divorcing external from internal by making consciousness awareness the focus and ascribing to it powers of control. It happened to me, I see it in the posts I read on this forum. The whole process becomes distorted as another little ego is developed. It is a more confident ego than the confused one that it replaces. It gives the feeling of being in a kind of special club, having a knowing, being slightly/greatly remote and aloof from all the other people who haven't learned this special secret way-but, I can tell you that most people are already well adjusted and don't need to sort out a head full of loose wiring. If we head down this route we are only adding to the mess, but, at least for a while it feels we captain the ship and get a sort of blissful, ecstatic calm. However, though it may last minutes, hours, or years, it is temporary only. Eventually the walls of our little ego will be breached either all at once, or bit by bit.

 

So, let's not add to the confusion, let's not replace one little ego with another. Instead, be introspective and watch the thoughts arise without attempting to do anything. That's ALL that is necessary, to be aware through our waking hours of the jumble of thoughts that are blooming. It begins to happen through short sessions of active, aware, physically quiescence and then carries across to our every day lives. This is really what staying in the moment is, but it's really far more simple-it is awareness of our thoughts on an increasing basis. Once this awareness has stuck then we begin to exert control on those thoughts by clearing up the confused philosophies from which they Spring. It's possible, I think, to go straight from A to B missing out the meditation, but, something in the minds need for water wings at first, before swimming, takes away some of the terror of diving straight in.

 

The point is to develop the strong ego. Instead of the fractured, manufactured small egos that generally make us feel scared, unloved and unlovable. When talking of 'killing the ego', that is a bad approach, we kill one weed and another pops up like wacka-mole. If we get to the state of actually killing all the wacka-moles by self inquiry carpet bombing we are in danger of falling into a pit in which we lose all sense of life completely. It's a little suicide of the mind and I imagine, in the mind of the less stable it can become real suicide. This little suicide is only another state which is recoverable by going back to square one and simply being aware of arising thoughts without doing anything else.

 

I dont see you simplifying anything here.  You are just presenting your own "overcomplication" instead.  Its much more accurate to say that this is just your perspective, informed by your subjective experience - which is quite a bit different than mine, obviously, for a number of reasons.  Who is to say which description is "better" in terms of which is more "simple" to understand and/or implement as advice?  Thats not rhetorical - the answer is: the person in question who we are attempting to communicate with.  Only the original poster can say for sure, because that is who I was directing the response to.  My response may very well be "overcomplicated" for you and yet far more "simple" to Shad282 - or it could be the other way around, as you suggest.  

 

If you are speaking of something more specific, please elaborate.  Again, your response seems no less "overcomplicated".

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I dont see you simplifying anything here. You are just presenting your own "overcomplication" instead. Its much more accurate to say that this is just your perspective, informed by your subjective experience - which is quite a bit different than mine, obviously, for a number of reasons. Who is to say which description is "better" in terms of which is more "simple" to understand and/or implement as advice? Thats not rhetorical - the answer is: the person in question who we are attempting to communicate with. Only the original poster can say for sure, because that is who I was directing the response to. My response may very well be "overcomplicated" for you and yet far more "simple" to Shad282 - or it could be the other way around, as you suggest.

 

If you are speaking of something more specific, please elaborate. Again, your response seems no less "overcomplicated".

And the winner of this thread's most simplified post goes to......

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I dont see you simplifying anything here. You are just presenting your own "overcomplication" instead. Its much more accurate to say that this is just your perspective, informed by your subjective experience - which is quite a bit different than mine, obviously, for a number of reasons. Who is to say which description is "better" in terms of which is more "simple" to understand and/or implement as advice? Thats not rhetorical - the answer is: the person in question who we are attempting to communicate with. Only the original poster can say for sure, because that is who I was directing the response to. My response may very well be "overcomplicated" for you and yet far more "simple" to Shad282 - or it could be the other way around, as you suggest.

 

If you are speaking of something more specific, please elaborate. Again, your response seems no less "overcomplicated".

I wasn't intending to start an argument over who is right. You write 'the inescapable emptiness of infinity....' it's this kind of wording that is over complicated. What does it mean ? Infinity means greater than any amount-more than there is. Emptiness when related to existence means non-existence. To say it is 'inescapable' is a direct contradiction to non-existence. You might well know what you mean, but it sounds more like poetry than a description of what someone might experience.

 

If Inread between the lines of what you have written it sounds right, but if I add the poetic parts it wouldn't make a lot of sense if you were writing a manual on how to get from A to B.

 

I tried to use plain language. In effect-sit quietly and be aware of the rise of thoughts. However, there is so much complexity, rules, things that the meditator should/should not experience. Add in various guru phrases and poetic allegory and it sounds rather similar to having an LSD trip. Its not nearly as complex, nor is it anything special, but people want it to be.

Edited by Karl
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You are conflating an idea of "the now" to the standard, very common result of aversion.  You are right in that what you describe is a type of escapism - in other words it is "avoidance".  That has nothing to do with "the now" as a reality - which is the totality of experience, the inescapable fullness and emptiness of infinity, the potential of all things.  In other words, when you are being present in "the now" you cannot avoid or deny any thoughts, emotions, sensations, etc. but at the same time they do not control your actions or dominate your identity.  You are overlooking the aspect of "being present" when it comes to "the now".

 

It is of course much more common to avoid any kind of uncomfortable experience - and you can use whatever you want to avoid it - alcohol, drugs, books, movies, meditation, martial arts, or "the now".  The act of avoiding can take any form whatsoever.  All you have to do is set out with that intent, and any behavior can serve that purpose.  At the same time if you set out with the intent of being present, any behavior can serve that purpose as well.  If you are not able to use intent to this degree, you may require a set of guidelines or precepts to help you - but eventually you have to drop the training wheels and get serious with your own life, your own experience.

 

Then there is the idea of "indulgence" as well.  Sometimes people actually become more comfortable repeating the same unpleasant emotions and thoughts - they become "comfortably numb" in their little subjective world and effectively retire from any sort of possible growth or evolution in an objective sense.  So, it is also possible to "dwell" on the past or future to a degree that is certainly detrimental - but this is more about the phenomena of "dwelling" on anything in general.  Another word for it is "indulging".  Its too much, its over the line, its not necessary - its like a hamster wheel where you are constantly running but getting nowhere.  This is related to the idea being discussed in another thread where you either work to make yourself happy or work to make yourself miserable - but the amount of work is the same.  

 

You have a finite amount of energy in this human body in this human life, and you can use it any number of ways.  Most people have no idea of this concept and therefore they serve only the civilized human world with its civilized human concerns.  However the natural world is much greater than humanity alone, and if you wish to take part in this greater reality you must utilize your finite energy in another way besides the standard civilized model.  The reason I am bringing this up is because most of the standard ways people "waste" energy can be easily transplanted to esoteric systems, philosophies, occult practices, meditations and so forth.  In other words, intent always overrides the practice, whatever it may be.  These tools can be used simply to further serve the same rat race, just with a different mask, a different background, a different setting.  Its something you should watch out for.  Trungpa called it "spiritual materialism".  You will be lucky if you find the kind of practice that wont let you go when you encounter such a dissonance personally - its very challenging to deal with, but a damn good omen in the end.  Thats when it gets "real", as they say.

 

 

My own experience is that this is broadly right, but an over complication of something far more simple. It is this complication combined with mysticism and badly defined terms that has led to confusion, gurus, retreats and a myriad of advice coupled with businesses.

 

If our minds are so jumbled up with thoughts it's usually because we are unsettled in some way, the world isn't making sense to us and we feel add odds with life. Instead of dealing with life as lots of people do day to day, instead our minds churn constantly and produce strong emotions which are mostly fear, unhappiness, guilt and misery sometimes I dispersed with a manic kind of over exuberant happiness.

 

First we have to stop trying to fit in and realise the machine is broken-we have to accept that we are basically a mess and no amount of trying to evade, rectify or lifestyle is going to make it better. Basically we are just feeding more stuff into an ever more confused mind which reacts by churning even more.

 

We have to hear our minds in an impartial sense, to act as witness to our thoughts in order to give us a chance. This process can be long and confused in itself-it can add to the confusion if it is done without the right sense of what is trying to be achieved. We should not be trying to rectify, find bliss, go astral flying, lucid dreaming, healing, gain powers or any other thing. All that is necessary is to gain sufficient quietness to sort out the thoughts arising. It's like counting to ten before saying something we regret.

 

We can get that space through meditation. We should realise that this is forcing ourselves to sit physically still and begin the process of mental surveillance. We are observing. Sitting in awareness of our thoughts, neither pushing them away, or rejecting them. It is an introspective process in which we become aware that thoughts are distinct and seperate from the external world.

 

It's at this point that there is a danger of divorcing external from internal by making consciousness awareness the focus and ascribing to it powers of control. It happened to me, I see it in the posts I read on this forum. The whole process becomes distorted as another little ego is developed. It is a more confident ego than the confused one that it replaces. It gives the feeling of being in a kind of special club, having a knowing, being slightly/greatly remote and aloof from all the other people who haven't learned this special secret way-but, I can tell you that most people are already well adjusted and don't need to sort out a head full of loose wiring. If we head down this route we are only adding to the mess, but, at least for a while it feels we captain the ship and get a sort of blissful, ecstatic calm. However, though it may last minutes, hours, or years, it is temporary only. Eventually the walls of our little ego will be breached either all at once, or bit by bit.

 

So, let's not add to the confusion, let's not replace one little ego with another. Instead, be introspective and watch the thoughts arise without attempting to do anything. That's ALL that is necessary, to be aware through our waking hours of the jumble of thoughts that are blooming. It begins to happen through short sessions of active, aware, physically quiescence and then carries across to our every day lives. This is really what staying in the moment is, but it's really far more simple-it is awareness of our thoughts on an increasing basis. Once this awareness has stuck then we begin to exert control on those thoughts by clearing up the confused philosophies from which they Spring. It's possible, I think, to go straight from A to B missing out the meditation, but, something in the minds need for water wings at first, before swimming, takes away some of the terror of diving straight in.

 

The point is to develop the strong ego. Instead of the fractured, manufactured small egos that generally make us feel scared, unloved and unlovable. When talking of 'killing the ego', that is a bad approach, we kill one weed and another pops up like wacka-mole. If we get to the state of actually killing all the wacka-moles by self inquiry carpet bombing we are in danger of falling into a pit in which we lose all sense of life completely. It's a little suicide of the mind and I imagine, in the mind of the less stable it can become real suicide. This little suicide is only another state which is recoverable by going back to square one and simply being aware of arising thoughts without doing anything else.

 

I Loved your replies... they gave me a new perspective to look through but to be honest.. they both started very well.. they complete each others in the first paragraphes... i guess it is a matter of being in the now in order to have the right state of mind to solve these problem, out of having a quiet and aware mind to be able to find the solution.

 

But in the last paragraphs of your replies.. things got weird and complicated. one describing a finite energy, distributing the energy, spiritual materialism ? and  the other with building a stronger ego??

 

Thank you for your replies :)

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I Loved your replies... they gave me a new perspective to look through but to be honest.. they both started very well.. they complete each others in the first paragraphes... i guess it is a matter of being in the now in order to have the right state of mind to solve these problem, out of having a quiet and aware mind to be able to find the solution.

 

But in the last paragraphs of your replies.. things got weird and complicated. one describing a finite energy, distributing the energy, spiritual materialism ? and  the other with building a stronger ego??

 

Thank you for your replies :)

Yes, I thought I was agreeing with 9th.

 

Stronger ego-stronger mind. A confident, independent person that values their own life as their moral standard.

 

It's easy to build a new fragile ego by remodelling the old fragile ego. Its like adopting a new persona, but the shakey foundations remain unchanged. Putting lipstick on a pig.

 

First it is necessary to know exactly what we have absorbed by having a listen in to the way our thoughts are arising, but not yet judging because we don't yet have a way to judge them. Once we get used to listening in at all times it becomes easier to seperate out emotions and the sense that we are on a kind of auto pilot. I think of it as a debugging procedure, but it can't begin until we can read the lines of code accurately, then later we can remedy the program and remove all the bugs. The program then runs properly without crashing and creating weird loops and irregularities, it also runs much, much faster.

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Many times, I've been told when thoughts that makes me feel sad or have a an emotion that is not desirable and such that i should be in the now and not dwell on the past or what is going to happen.

 

It is true that not thinking or just thinking about what is in the now.. makes me feel better and relax and such... but i see it as a kind of escapism of the thoughts that makes me feel sad...it is like not dealing with them and with what they are trying to point to.. and running into the now where they don't exist. 

 

No matter how a person stays in the now and train his mind to be in the present moment, there are triggers that is going to appear in the now that will awaken back the thoughts he tried to escape from by altering his focusing in the now. these thoughts will always stay there waiting for you to get triggered or lose your focus back into them to.

 

these thoughts are there for a reason, and demand your attention to be healed and transformed. they are the result of the past and exist in the now, but need to be triggered and if not healed, they will be in your future.

 

what do you think, is it an escapism? and how to actually deal with these thoughts without escaping them?

 

Thank you :)

 

I do not look at mindfulness as escapism.

I look at it as finding the proper balance between paying attention to our thought and emotion, and paying attention to everything else.

The key is not whether the thought or emotion arises, it is to what degree we dwell on it.

 

It's instructive to look at what happens in our mind.

Let's say we have something on our mind that is a problem or a source of strong emotion.

What we do is spend an excessive amount of time with the same patterns of thinking going through our head, over and over and over.... it never ends. 

It becomes a loop of painful, unproductive thought and emotion.

And the answer to the problem does not come from that painful, obsessive place.

It is often an enormous waste of time and source of stress and distraction.

 

Our best ideas do not come to us when we are trying to think of a solution.

They tend to come when we are relaxed and in a good, open, and creative frame of mind.

When we can't think of a certain word, what do we do?

We forget about it altogether and voila, it's there. we rarely find it when we try.

Creativity comes from a deeper place than the thought that claims the title of thinker.

 

No matter how mindful we try to be, thoughts and emotions will arise.

When they come up, it is not necessary to push them away or try to escape them.

Better to give them an appropriate amount of attention, allow them to express themselves fully, and then let them go.

The problem is that most of us spend far too much unproductive time ruminating over things such that we get disengaged from life.

 

If that is a problem for us, mindfulness is a very useful tool.

If it is not a problem, no solution is needed.

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The Guest House

 

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
 
Rumi
Edited by Bindi
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The key is not whether the thought or emotion arises, it is to what degree we dwell on it.

Warrants repeating. (-:

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Many times, I've been told when thoughts that makes me feel sad or have a an emotion that is not desirable and such that i should be in the now and not dwell on the past or what is going to happen.

 

It is true that not thinking or just thinking about what is in the now.. makes me feel better and relax and such... but i see it as a kind of escapism of the thoughts that makes me feel sad...it is like not dealing with them and with what they are trying to point to.. and running into the now where they don't exist. 

 

No matter how a person stays in the now and train his mind to be in the present moment, there are triggers that is going to appear in the now that will awaken back the thoughts he tried to escape from by altering his focusing in the now. these thoughts will always stay there waiting for you to get triggered or lose your focus back into them to.

 

these thoughts are there for a reason, and demand your attention to be healed and transformed. they are the result of the past and exist in the now, but need to be triggered and if not healed, they will be in your future.

 

what do you think, is it an escapism? and how to actually deal with these thoughts without escaping them?

 

Thank you :)

 

....the present is simply the movement of the past into a new shape...

There actually is no past, present, or future in all reality.... Time, space, weight, and measure, are temporary dimensions...

 

Your thoughts that you can't seem to deal with are probably deep seated intellectual impressions in your conscious, sub conscious, or unconscious mind.... everyone has them... hinuds call them "sanskaras".... or mental impressions, or habits.

 

Why you meditate and focus on what you focus on is entirely your own definition.  No one can answer this for you.  What do you think... are you really running away from answering your thoughts?   The mind has a way all it's own to repeat, and reveal, over and over again what is has learned or accepted as fact, truth, or pattern....   

 

....I think in the end, what you will discover, is that real meditation is going "beyond" the normal thinking, and intellectualizing mind... to a deeper place to understand it's workings....   that's not an escape... that's a movement to find the root of a cause...

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