2ndchance

Activities to Cultivate Positive Emotions to achieve Samadhi concentration awareness

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Two topics here.

 

I have discovered that it is impossible to achieve Samadhi concentrated awareness without the most positive emotions of loving-kindness, joy, happiness, humor, fun, romance, inspiration, patience, courage, etc. in my heart.

 

What do you guys do to cultivate positive emotions besides meditating? Let's share!

 

One thing I can think of is to write a gratitude journal everyday. Also, being grateful CONSCIOUSLY to the Dao and the Universe every second seems to work.

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I’m sorry but you can’t enter into samadhi with emotions - whether positive or negative.

 

Unless of course you have a completely different interpretation of samadhi... like the reverie/trance that’s popular in new age practices. 

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Hi 2ndchance,

 

Great topic! You seem like your asking the right questions and on the right track.

 

Our true nature is love ... a universal love that like the sun- shines on everyone. 

 

Rather than making it happen with emotions, the way I do it is to Be still, be present in the moment... and I find the love and peace comes out on its own. We have to get out of our own way (stop effort) and it comes out by itself. 

 

Think of a pond. When the pond is still, the dirt settles to the bottom and the water becomes clear. But when you do a bunch of stuff, it kicks up mud and dirt and the water becomes dirty. Just try to be still and see if the water becomes clear on its own. 

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Sounds like good forms of cultivation.

A potential problem with cultivating positive emotions...

Think metaphorically of all emotions as being like clouds in the sky. Positive ones are bright and fluffy. Negative ones are dark and overcast. We know that clouds are made up of miniature water droplets...and in those water droplets, on bright fluffy cloud days, the light of the sky (your natural bliss) gets reflected off of each little particle. On overcast days, there's much less reflection of light.

 

So when you have those bright fluffy cloud days, or majestic looking cloud days, or to speak precisely - those times when you're having positive uplifting emotions - the positivity you feel is a reflection of that bliss of samadhi...but it's a reflection and it isn't the thing itself.

Why? Because it's also true that clouds come and go...whereas the natural bliss doesn't fluctuate. It's impossible for someone to be positive emotionally all of the time...just like it's impossible to always have our favorite clouds in the sky. But it's always true that the sun is in the vast expanse of the heavens...some things don't change.

 

If our cultivation depends on being happy, then we develop an attachment to that and an aversion away from the darker cloud days, or negative feelings...and attachment/aversion are, according to the Buddhists, some of the root causes of negative emotions. Someone who can't handle any negativity isn't doing well at all on the path. So the trick here is that the key to being positive emotionally, is to not need to be that way. To be unattached to it.

 

But positive emotion cultivation is a great thing. I think our natural bliss tends to come forth in the midst of positive conditions...so despite the "bright fluffy clouds" (positive conditions) merely being reflections of true bliss, they also coincide closely with it...whereas the dark days, or negative emotions, have the opposite effect. When we're peaceful, we can more effectively realize our natural bliss compared to when we're emotionally distraught.

 

So...I see nothing wrong with positive emotion cultivation, and I do indeed think it helps us with our ultimate attainment, whatever that is. It's just important to remember that positive emotions come and go, and it's not good positive cultivation to let that bother us.

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8 hours ago, Aetherous said:

So...I see nothing wrong with positive emotion cultivation, and I do indeed think it helps us with our ultimate attainment, whatever that is. It's just important to remember that positive emotions come and go, and it's not good positive cultivation to let that bother us.

 

I think it’s important to clarify what you mean by ‘positive emotion cultivation’...  

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3 hours ago, freeform said:

I think it’s important to clarify what you mean by ‘positive emotion cultivation’...  

 

Any activity that promotes positive feelings.

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13 hours ago, Aetherous said:

Think metaphorically of all emotions as being like clouds in the sky. Positive ones are bright and fluffy. Negative ones are dark and overcast. We know that clouds are made up of miniature water droplets...and in those water droplets, on bright fluffy cloud days, the light of the sky (your natural bliss) gets reflected off of each little particle. On overcast days, there's much less reflection of light.

 

So when you have those bright fluffy cloud days, or majestic looking cloud days, or to speak precisely - those times when you're having positive uplifting emotions - the positivity you feel is a reflection of that bliss of samadhi...but it's a reflection and it isn't the thing itself.

 

:)

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46 minutes ago, Aetherous said:

 

Any activity that promotes positive feelings.

 

Like watching a comedy or a nice sunset... nothing wrong with that :) 

 

Wouldn't call that cultivation though.

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Posted (edited)

One of the best ways is to not resist the truth.
If you feel sad, just be with it and let yourself be real.
If you would like to cry just cry, if angry just be angry, if happy just be happy.
Joy and pain, are like day and night.
How intelligent is it to always want it to be daytime ?
Maybe that comes from a fundamentally fake understanding of life.
How can the fake enter samadhi.

 

 

People say that they are angry and they don't want to be angry, so how to get out of it ?
But ... it's not true.
It's a lie.
They are not actually angry ... they resist their anger, and the more they resist the more hot it gets.

When someone is sad - it is a problem that they struggle with .... it is not true.
They are not sad.
They are resisting sadness.   
And so it becomes depression.

And then they try to "fix" it by being positive.

Then they try to fake up some positive emotions.
What a lie.

Buddha says, "when for you seeing is just seeing, night-time is just night-time, anger is just anger"
Then you are enlightened.
In other words .... when you stop being fake.
Fake ... fake ... fake.

Then when it rains, when the rain pours down .... then .... the ground is just wet.

 

 

wet.jpg

Edited by rideforever
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5 minutes ago, freeform said:

Like watching a comedy or a nice sunset... nothing wrong with that :) 

 

Wouldn't call that cultivation though.

 

Yes to those things. Or having a gratitude journal, like OP mentioned.

 

It definitely is cultivation. Every moment of our lives is cultivation...what we focus on is what we, or our lives, become.

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When we eliminate all the layers of identification that obscure our true nature,  what remains is samadhi. And that is pure, free and blissful. Being blissful it is the love supreme, the primary force of creation. :) 

 

What you need is knowledge to inform your practice. 

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1 hour ago, Aetherous said:

 

Yes to those things. Or having a gratitude journal, like OP mentioned.

 

It definitely is cultivation. Every moment of our lives is cultivation...what we focus on is what we, or our lives, become.

 

Yeah - I guess it depends... there’s ‘self cultivation’... which is a path in itself. In self cultivation things like gratitude journals, ‘positive thinking’, and other personal development type stuff can be useful.

 

For ‘spiritual cultivation’ that sort of stuff just adds more layers of Acquired Mind... not useful.

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7 minutes ago, dwai said:

When we eliminate all the layers of identification that obscure our true nature,  what remains is samadhi.

 

That is spiritual cultivation. 

 

Although, as we’ve discussed previously, ‘love’ and ‘bliss’ are still (much deeper) layers that must be shed.

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1 hour ago, freeform said:

Yeah - I guess it depends... there’s ‘self cultivation’... which is a path in itself. In self cultivation things like gratitude journals, ‘positive thinking’, and other personal development type stuff can be useful.

 

For ‘spiritual cultivation’ that sort of stuff just adds more layers of Acquired Mind... not useful.

 

That's just one perspective on the matter. Other perspectives don't view the mind as something in the way.

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16 hours ago, Aetherous said:

If our cultivation depends on being happy, then we develop an attachment to that and an aversion away from the darker cloud days, or negative feelings...and attachment/aversion are, according to the Buddhists, some of the root causes of negative emotions. Someone who can't handle any negativity isn't doing well at all on the path.

yes.  for me, being happy is being both grateful and at the same time freaking amazed at life/universe/god.  When the dark clouds come, that just means that my garden will grow. still amazed.  (and cannot overrate a good sense of humor about life, keeps us from getting a stick up our asses, and thinking we really know something, taking ourselves to serious)

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On 1/4/2019 at 5:11 AM, 2ndchance said:

Two topics here.

 

I have discovered that it is impossible to achieve Samadhi concentrated awareness without the most positive emotions of loving-kindness, joy, happiness, humor, fun, romance, inspiration, patience, courage, etc. in my heart.

 

What do you guys do to cultivate positive emotions besides meditating? Let's share!

 

One thing I can think of is to write a gratitude journal everyday. Also, being grateful CONSCIOUSLY to the Dao and the Universe every second seems to work.

 

I’m curious what led you to conclude that it is impossible to cultivate concentrated awareness without positive emotion.

 

In my training, such a state is achieved through zhiné, not through any sort of cultivation of emotion or positive feelings. Perhaps there are traditions that emphasize the emotional component, I’m interested to hear about them. Both positive and negative states of mind arise on and off the cushion while cultivating samadhi and both are treated similarly - we notice them and allow them to arise, remain, and depart as they will without interference. 

 

Samadhi leads to the ability to abide without influence or disturbance by transient states of mind. Once achieved one does experience a much deeper, more stable source of positive qualities like the four immeasurables. I do know cultivating positive states of mind is a path in that direction. 

 

I think what you are asking about is wonderful but not necessarily the path to samadhi, at least not in the teachings I’ve been exposed to.

 

One thing I do to cultivate positivity is to open my heart, make eye contact, and smile at everyone I encounter.

 

Good luck on your path.

 

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4 hours ago, freeform said:

 

That is spiritual cultivation. 

 

Although, as we’ve discussed previously, ‘love’ and ‘bliss’ are still (much deeper) layers that must be shed.

They’re not layers. They are the nature of the Self :)

Trying to shed them will be like the sun trying to shed light and heat. Not possible. 

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Posted (edited)

Maybe the ideas of love and bliss is what freeform means? The concepts therein. 

 

But i agree, no way to really get rid of love...

Edited by Fa Xin
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What I mean is that there’s a certain stage a cultivator hits where they first start to enter these states in meditation and then fully reside in a state of love and bliss. 

 

With the new age amalagamation of ideas and practices, it became common to believe that this is the ‘fundamental nature of being’. You’ve arrived. 

 

In classical Daoism (northern sect Longmen as well as Shangqing lineages) and in ‘inner door’ Buddhist lineages this is considered a major trap. You got close (ish), but sadly not to your ‘original spirit’. And now you’ve been drawn in and got stuck.

 

The normal rebuttal is ‘but you don’t understand this is a very special universal Love and Bliss - not ‘personal’ emotions or feelings. Once the lense of the ‘self’ is cleared this is what shines forth.’

 

It’s certainly a more popular idea... it’s like the idea of ‘heaven’... it sells very well and is the basis of almost all new age and modern ‘spiritual’ systems.

 

Actually the original traditions all call the aspirant to go past this to stillness - the basis of Yuan Shen (Original Spirit) which is completely still and neutral - not coloured by love or bliss or anything else... it manifests as enlightenment.

 

Attachment to this Big Love state causes the dark night of the soul when confronted with the still neutrality of Yuan Shen.

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2 hours ago, freeform said:

 

Actually the original traditions all call the aspirant to go past this to stillness - the basis of Yuan Shen (Original Spirit) which is completely still and neutral - not coloured by love or bliss or anything else... it manifests as enlightenment.

 

Attachment to this Big Love state causes the dark night of the soul when confronted with the still neutrality of Yuan Shen.

 

:) In my experience once cannot have Big Love and Bliss without Yuan Shen (Which is none other than one's True Self). In the Indian systems, only intermediate practitioners stay in the "void" stage. All jivanamuktas re-integrate into the world with full vim, vigor, bliss and LOVE. :)

 

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32 minutes ago, dwai said:

In my experience once cannot have Big Love and Bliss without Yuan Shen

 

And I would rephrase that as ‘you cannot get to Yuan Shen without going through ‘Big Love’ and ‘Bliss’’.

 

Stillness is not ‘void’. That’s crucial.

 

Indian systems... I’m not that familiar with to be honest, although I did have a Balinese Hindu teacher for a couple of years - he definitely talked a lot about the ‘Big Love’. As did almost all teachers on the new age side of cultivation.

 

But in the Daoist and Buddhist lineages I’ve come across, this was specifically warned against as a trap. With strong emphasis and by several high level teachers.

 

The Daoist classics also never mention that Big Love (or whatever way you’d like to call it) is the aim of practice or that it’s even a small part of Yuan Shen or your original self.

 

Maybe you’ve got it right and they’ve all had it wrong - that’s true. But I’ll take my chances with recognised lineages with many living masters of great attainment - over what’s gone through the new age meat-grinder. It’s also not something I’d bother re-iterating here if it wasn’t potentially dangerous. 

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10 minutes ago, freeform said:

 

And I would rephrase that as ‘you cannot get to Yuan Shen without going through ‘Big Love’ and ‘Bliss’’.

 

Stillness is not ‘void’. That’s crucial.

 

Indian systems... I’m not that familiar with to be honest, although I did have a Balinese Hindu teacher for a couple of years - he definitely talked a lot about the ‘Big Love’. As did almost all teachers on the new age side of cultivation.

 

But in the Daoist and Buddhist lineages I’ve come across, this was specifically warned against as a trap. With strong emphasis and by several high level teachers.

The Buddhist lineages come from Indian systems :) 

10 minutes ago, freeform said:

 

The Daoist classics also never mention that Big Love (or whatever way you’d like to call it) is the aim of practice or that it’s even a small part of Yuan Shen or your original self.

Sometimes we mistake pedagogy for the end. It also has to do with the cultural mindset in which Daoism evolved. So the language etc are colored by that. 

10 minutes ago, freeform said:

 

Maybe you’ve got it right and they’ve all had it wrong - that’s true. But I’ll take my chances with recognised lineages with many living masters of great attainment - over what’s gone through the new age meat-grinder. It’s also not something I’d bother re-iterating here if it wasn’t potentially dangerous. 

:D 

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1 hour ago, dwai said:

All jivanamuktas re-integrate into the world with full vim, vigor, bliss and LOVE. :)

 

Can you be specific and describe particular people and their reintegration ?

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, rideforever said:

 

Can you be specific and describe particular people and their reintegration ?

Ramana Maharshi, Neem Karoli Baba, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda, Nisargadatta Maharaj,  the list can go on and on :) 

 

You can read up on their lives. 

Edited by dwai

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