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 Wayne Wirs: Newly-Minted Enlightened Guy
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Anthem

1608 Posts

Posted - Nov 14 2009 :  4:01:03 PM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:

How can we distinguish between someone who is truly enlightened and someone who is perhaps a very intelligent spiritual marketer-person that only got a taste and is claiming to be enlightened? Or how do you know that the person even had a valid experience?

Hi TI,

Getting back to your original question which I think is extremely valid. I am not sure we can be absolutely certain and would suggest it doesn't matter.

We all have an innate ability to recognize the truth of "the Absolute" (insert whatever word is meaningful for you) prior to the guessing mind getting involved. If the words of a given individual ring true for you and you feel they are expanding then that is the value right then and there.

I have found 6 year olds to be "enlightening", I find a number of perspectives here in this forum expanding, Wayne Wirs words certainly deepened the witnessing here as have Yogani, Adyashanti, Byron Katie and a host of others along the way.

We have to be discerning for ourselves, in the end we alone are responsible for our spiritual path and the inner wisdom in our hearts, (not the guessing mind), is our guiding light. If our desire is true for the right reasons, the right answers will come along. If we are all about getting a better ego, then we will certainly get side tracked easily.

quote:
Or better yet, how can we determine that someone is enlightened when the experience of enlightenment that they describe as proof of enlightenment is very similar to psychic experiences by un-enlightened people? (The void, past lives, remote viewing..)


From my perspective, way too much emphasis on experiences which although nice signs of progress are ultimately a dime a dozen. Experiences are not accurate measures of a person's inner condition or our own inner condition on a daily basis. Plenty of people have had experiences of the void, absolute, witnessing, ecstasy, bliss etc. few are likely "enlightened" whatever that means to you. It is likely a unique definition for everyone and as we all know once a definition is used, it can only ever at best be a shade of the living reality which is always flowing and changing.

Since experiences are fleeting, more importantly, what is the current state of mind of a person/ body on a daily basis? How much "me" is in the equation of every action and word? Is the energy of the individual flowing continuously in the direction of the greater good or is it subtly seeking to validate "i/ me". Is love apparent in action?

These are more precise measures from my perspective and at best, only accurately applied to ourselves.

Edited by - Anthem on Nov 14 2009 4:21:33 PM
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Kirtanman

USA
1651 Posts

Posted - Nov 14 2009 :  10:58:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit Kirtanman's Homepage  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Christi & All,



quote:
Originally posted by Kirtanman
Thanks for being rigorous with this, Christi; good stuff is coming out of this dialog.


quote:
Originally posted by Christi
You know me K-man, always rigorous! There is too much at stake in terms of human evolution to not be.



Agreed wholeheartedly; as I'm sure you know, that's the basis for everything I'm saying here, as well.



quote:
Originally written by Yogani:
Conversely, where there is the assumption of attainment or of having arrived, actions can be distorted accordingly, leading to a rigid teaching, proselytizing, sectarianism, and a shift in focus from spiritual practices to the one who has supposedly arrived. It is a pitfall of the mind commonly found on either the side of the teacher, the student, or both.



Yes, emphatically agreed; I attempted to address this in my last post; perhaps I was not completely clear, regarding my views on this dynamic.

Yogani uses some key terms in his statement above, which clue us in to exactly what he is talking about:

"assumption of attainment or of having arrived"
"actions can be distorted accordingly"
"supposedly arrived"
"a pitfall of the mind"

... in a nutshell, Yogani is referring to non-actual enlightenment, not to actual enlightenment.

Limited mind isn't only subject to pitfalls; it basically is a pitfall.

If you care to re-read my dialog with Tibetan Ice, this was my main point of emphasis: turning to any forms in mind, any concepts, any latching on to statements made in books ... is much, much more likely to occlude and preclude enlightenment, than it is to facilitate enlightenment.

The past is a concept; all ideas about enlightenment are concepts; they have nothing at all to do with what we're discussing here.

That's why I am repeatedly warning against the fallacy of trusting in any conceptual mental forms, related to enlightenment.

If nothing else, Christi, maybe you can take some solace in the fact that this dialog of ours will hopefully at least serve to emphasize the points that you, Yogani (per his writings you're quoting) and I, would all say are very important for anyone interested in enlightenment to be clear concerning.

And that's one of the main reasons I very sincerely appreciate your rigor, in questioning; we're truly on the same page, as far as the importance of emphasizing the very items you're expressing concern about, thanks again!



The only aspect of this discussion I'm a bit unclear about, is that the very points you're raising, are points that I feel I've repeatedly addressed, presumably in the same way you would like to see them addressed (meaning: I feel I've warned against the very things you're raising as concerns) .... and so I'm not sure what the specific basis for your concern is, based on what I'm saying in this thread. If you can do anything to clarify this, it will be greatly appreciated (and may well serve to shorten the "back and forth", here).




quote:
Originally posted by Christi
I thought that was an especially interesting couple of lines. I had to look up the word proselytizing as I didn't know what it meant.



I was pretty sure I knew, but looked it up, just to be sure:

proselytize: "to convert or attempt to convert as a proselyte; recruit."

What's a "proselyte"?

"A new convert to a doctrine or religion."

(Just to clarify for anyone who may not care to look it up. )

Did you (Christi) point out that term (proselytizing) because you see some proselytizing apparently happening, in this thread?

If you do see such, please point it out; I fully concur with Yogani, and presumably with you, that this is not something we'd like to see, nor is it something that would be helpful to anyone; I'll gladly join in helping to eradicate any proselytizing, and/or any misperceptions concerning proselytizing, in terms of the dialog in this thread, as best I can.



And, regarding the term proselytizing, it turns out, my definition had indeed morphed a bit over the years, while still remaining relatively accurate, I'd say.

Prior to looking up the term "afresh", I probably would have defined proselytizing as:

"to annoy in the name of God."




quote:
Originally written by Yogani:
It is like asking a bird who is yet to grow wings to jump off the top of a building. The bird with fully developed and functioning wings will keep saying to the one with undeveloped wings, “Come on, you can do it. Just jump. Don’t worry about the wings.” Does this make any sense? The wings have to come first. Then we can fly."


Again, wholeheartedly agreed.

Truth is always inherently helpful and uplifting.

Stating truth is always inherently helpful and uplifting.

"The wings have to come first, and then we can fly."
~Yogani

Yes, this is true; on every level of consciousness ... and brings us to the opportunity for an important clarification .... which I will do my best to state clearly, yet again:

*Enlightenment is a description for conscious experiencing of the full field of awareness, including identifying primarily with (and "as"), and living subjectively from original unagitated awareness (aka self, aka true nature, aka pure bliss consciousness).

*Unenlightenment is a description for unconsciously identifying solely with various remembered aspects of objectivity (thoughts, feelings, conditioned memories, body, limited mind, personality, relationships, possessions, beliefs, etc.), and thereby misperceiving and experiencing self to be partial and unwhole.

*In unenlightenment, original unagitated awareness (aka enlightenment) hasn't "gone anywhere"; if it wasn't always already here, nothing else at all would be, or could be; appearances arise display and subside within a single field. This isn't simply non-dual or metaphysical philosophy; if you prefer the single field of reality to be indicated by scientific and/or mathematical symbolism, simply talk to any qualified quantum physicist. They may be unclear on the consciousness aspect, but will certainly verify the non-duality of reality. Reality can't be dual; it can only be perceived as dual.

*The terms Enlightenment and Unenlightenment, as defined above, are just that: terms, definitions; indicators which can hopefully help to demystify some of the many misconceptions surrounding enlightenment ... which is nothing more nor less than consciously knowing-living as original unagitated awareness.

*I'm not suggesting anyone should attempt flight before growing wings; that's one of the least enjoyable experiences the "pre-winged" can have. It's very different to say, "Hey ... made it home; it's doable ... you can, too!!" ... than it is to say "I am enlightened; follow me; I shall lead you; I have attained".

If you hear anyone saying such things, it is best to arise and move quickly ... filled with enthusiasm and gratitude for the inherent sense of truth which motivates the movement ......... in the opposite direction.



*If you notice the vibe of what Wayne Wirs is saying, and how he is saying it; what Adyashanti is saying and how he is saying it, and what I am saying and how I am saying it .... all we're saying is: enlightenment is real; it's wonderful, in a normal and real way; you can actually have it, too; all you have to do is drop all your ideas about it ... and everything else.

*It's the part after the "dot dot dot" which usually requires some time with yoga (or equivalent spiritual disciplines) and meditation.

*This is because the misconceptions of partiality are literally encoded into the neurobiology of the body-mind; yoga is the science of eradicating these misconceptions (which take the forms of energetic blocks which are eradicated from neurobiology and neuropsychology, via the processes of re-creation which are facilitated by yoga practices, and the kundalini which awakens and arises from yoga practices, based around a foundation of deep meditation).

*It's not about attainment or arrival on the part of any individual; enlightenment is the result of the dissolution of the concept of individuality.

*Adyashanti says: "I am a window; look through me, not at me." "Like that." I could care less if anyone perceives "Kirtanman" as enlightened or not, other than to point out that there's not actually a Kirtanman to be enlightened, and so, having such a misconception would inherently obscure reality.

*I'm not interested in my enlightenment; I'm interested in yours.



*The mind-trap that Yogani and I, along with others, are pointing to, is: premature presumption of enlightenment always involves activity of limited mind .... if you think you're enlightened, you're not. If you care if anyone thinks you're enlightened, you're not. If you have any interest in positioning yourself as enlightened, you're not.

*What exactly does "limited mind" mean? It means focus on form (thoughts, concepts, beliefs, ideas, energies, feelings, perceptions). That's why neo-advaita is so problematic. Neo-advaitins run around saying: "This is it!!" And limited ego-mind goes "Oh, okay, awesome; I am free!!"

And then, somewhere between a couple of minutes and a couple of days elapse, and the newly faux-advaitin, faux-liberated ego-mind starts feeling like: "But this *sucks*; I was led to believe it was *good*; I'm still a bundle of desires, fears, doubts and conflicts! But Sri Swami Neoadvaitananda says I'm now free, and that all the great swamis were just dressing up what's always already here. Crap."

*And so, I will do my best to be very emphatically clear:

I am not saying or suggesting or promoting or teaching anything that is even the tiniest bit like the above-described neo-advaitin view.


*What I am saying is: the true "This Is It" is that the full field of original, unagitated awareness is what is always already here; for anyone who is not living from this place, I am saying this by way of encouragement.

*What I am saying is this:


*Not at all long ago, I did not experience or live from or know myself to be this full field of original unagitated awareness myself.

*Then I had experiences of this, then identity began to shift to this original awareness, intermittently at first and then with more stability; recently it has stabilized here, and sense-of-identity with the limited self no longer arises.

*I can tell you ... I am telling you ... from living experiencing now, that everything {accurate } that has ever been written about the utter freedom of no longer dreaming I'm a limited body-mind, and knowing I am liberated, infinite awareness .... is true, and that it can be fully known in your living experiencing, too.

*As most AYPers who have followed my posts, and/or my presence here at this forum know, this living experiencing of complete liberation is a fairly recent occurrence.

The implications of this are:

AYP Works; AYP Worked For Me; AYP Can Work For You, Too.

(And I am not saying the process must involve AYP, or even anything all that similar ... just that for most of us, there is a process ... and there are many processes in many traditions proven to work to restore original, liberated awareness to the full knowing of itself.)

*I have been very fortunate in that, after a few years of sporadic fits and starts with yoga and meditation, I discovered and began practicing AYP a bit over three years ago, and it has worked out very, very well for me. There's been a fairly consistent "liberation-ward" trajectory reflected in my posts over time, and in the many, many many words those posts contain.

*Recently, as I noticed somewhat after the fact, identity literally shifted to the formless awareness; just as you feel like "you" in whatever way you do ... possibly a few readers experience self/non-self (the view/subjectivity life is actually lived "from"; the experiencer of all your experiences) as formless awareness ... most readers, though, are presumably feeling somewhat identified with form.

*Sense of identification with form is unenlightenment; it is the dream occuring within reality.

*When I say "identification", I mean "the general feeling that feels like who you are".

*And so, what's moving here ... what is writing these words .... is love; that's all. Enlightenment is real; enlightenment is all that's real. It's available for all of us; it's just the complete living-knowing of how consciousness actually works, as opposed to living as a tiny slice of conceptuality, dreaming you are separate from your own original wholeness.

*All I am doing here is offering encouragement, to help others who may not be living as liberation yet, to shorten their journey home, if possible; to invite you all to the the living experiencing of this beautiful, yet simply real, liberated reality as soon as you are fully willing.

*Creating this full willingness in your own life is what meditation and yoga practices (and other accurate spiritual practices and paths) are for, and what they help facilitate.

"You become a living invitation."
~Adyashanti

*And so, there is seeking, there is releasing, there is finding, there is knowing; there is liberation ... and there is liberating ... inviting; that's all.



*Outlining this can only be helpful; all spiritual teachers from every tradition, throughout history, and all around the world ... especially those teachers of the kind that most of us here seem to resonate with, and certainly including Yogani .... are each, all and only saying the same thing.

*Perhaps an example will help. Imagine we are Advanced Exercise Practices. We acknowledge that there are a lot of good exercise systems out there, yet we see the opportunity for improvement by creating an environment of "open source development", to try to make the good exercise techniques and frameworks we know of, even better. Because we're about Exercise, our goal, instead of "Enlightenment" is a loosely understood, often mystifying, often somewhat distorted condition known as "Health" ... that those who haven't realized the full benefits of Advanced Exercise Practices can only conceive of, since they don't know Health in experience.

I'm simply saying: complete Health is real; there is a point at which Health is experienced, 100%, and it can't be not-known when it happens; it is real, and having it ... being it ... is who and what we each and all actually are now. I am telling you all this for one reason: I feel an inherent arising of invitation to you (you, reading these words) to enjoy Health, too; you, of course, can have it too; Health is what you actually, ever are; a lifetime of conditioned conceptuality has just helped to insure you don't consciously know this. That's where practices, where awareness, and where accepting invitation ... can all be helpful.

*I am emphatically NOT saying anything along the lines of "don't exercise" (practice); that would be like saying "you're all already Health; regardless of your current condition ... don't exercise!" That would be counter-productive to the invitation I'm extending, and it is not something original awareness could, let alone would, ever say.

*There's still exercise (in actuality: daily practices) here, even though it's not done to gain anything; Health is living this life, now ... it's more an arising of action in the body-mind, inherently arising from the original awareness of Health I AM.

*Once again: just as ego might claim "premature enlightenment" ... it is also only ego which would be afraid to invite, or which would feel that truth and invitation should not be expressed. Full knowing, enlightenment, or whatever one might care to call it, erases all doubt and confusion, including of the types described in this paragraph.

*However, I agree with you (Christi) that not falling into the types of mind-traps which Yogani has warned against is something that is important enough to emphasize and clarify. I hope that I have done so sufficiently in this post; if you (Christi) still feel "otherwise", please say so, and we'll continue the discussion ... something I'm truly happy to do.



quote:
Originally posted by Christi
K-man,
How do you know that people who do not yet have the wings to fly with, are not going to follow your advice, and attempt to jump from the nest before they are ready? What's the clean up plan for the kundalini messes that often follow?

Christi



I'm not sure if you mean:

"How do I know that "people who do not yet have wings to fly" are not going to follow the advice I'm giving ..... and so, they're going to jump before they are ready? (despite my advice against doing anything of the sort)."

(meaning: You understand I am not advising anyone to do anything before they are ready, yet you are concerned my statements might still be misunderstood, and that jumping may happen, anyway.)

OR, if you mean:

"How do I know that "people who do not yet have wings to fly" might not follow the advice that you believe I am giving ...... and which could possibly mean "jumping before they're ready?"

Please clarify, if you can.

And I'll try to do the same:

*I am not advising anyone to "jump" anywhere.

*I'm just inviting everyone to know that enlightenment and liberation are real, to understand that original unagitated awareness is the ground of being, and it is true nature, and that noticing what's real, combined with practices, can help to produce the simple beauty of this living freedom in all of us.

(I have quoted a line from Daniel Odier's book Tantric Quest, in the past: "Just jump in; that is the great yoga!" ... but that simply means: engage with life; don't be hesitant, or let fear determine your actions ... because that is what reinforces unenlightenment. I think that's very different than what you're talking about, here.)

*I do agree with Yogani's point that "flying without wings" is neither wise nor useful. "Flying without wings" is an analogy for the error of thinking that one is enlightened, or that "this is it" can be understood or realized, when thinking or other forms in awareness are used as any kind of a benchmark. Original unagitated formless awareness *is* the set of wings with which we fly home ... and everywhere else, too; it's the freedom beyond imagination that is true nature ... soaring happily in the skies above the clouds of limited thinking and conceptual conditioning.

*It is then that we become Kecharins .... "travelers in the sky"; the reality of original unagitated awareness we ever are, now.

*Knowing this (enlightenment; true nature) might take some significant practicing, or "spiritual journeying" ... it took a lifetime of reinforcement to feel like the "you that you feel like" when you start meditation and yoga; it will likely take some undoing to no longer be bound by those misconceptions which literally form physically-based protein-encoded memory.

The Good News Is: Yogis & Yoginis figured out how to re-format and re-program the body-mind to be a conscious vehicle for the awareness we actually are, as opposed to simply being an unconscious repository for memory, imagination and misconception.

*It took me a few years. It may be able to be a shorter period for you (anyone reading), because understanding of how to go about it all is continuously clarifying.



In closing, here's a video from Adyashanti that I feel gets to the very essence of what we're discussing here, very very nicely, directly and powerfully.

VIDEO: Adyashanti on Chasing Enlightenment

Please Note: If you're not familiar with the name Adya mentions a couple times in the video (about a guy who was seeking enlightenment ... and, despite that ... how he actually found enlightenment, anyway ... ) ... he's saying Bankei.

I truly hope this is helpful.

Wholeheartedly,

Kirtanman




Edited by - Kirtanman on Nov 14 2009 11:46:36 PM
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Kirtanman

USA
1651 Posts

Posted - Nov 15 2009 :  12:08:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kirtanman's Homepage  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan_Ice

Hi Christi and Kirtanman :)
Thank you very much for this discussion. I am still here. I'm carefully preparing my next set of questions and dealing with a strange phenomenon.



Hi TI,

You're very welcome; thanks for engaging in this dialog.

The galaxy-phenomenon perception is likely somewhat interesting, but anything of that type I ever experienced (a bit over a year ago, I experienced vivid, perfectly formed geometric shapes in my third eye; about three and a half years ago, when my third eye first opened, the "star" that is sometimes seen in meditation was present all the time, with eyes open or closed, for a few weeks).

Ultimately, nothing that's a form matters all that much; all the wide varieties of energetic flux we each and all experience aren't important in and of themselves; it's just part of the overall process; everyone's is different.

The Ken Wilber quote, on the other hand, is potentially very, very useful ... it points directly to what I've been saying about original, unagitated awareness .... subjective awareness; experiencing awareness.

One aspect of the quote I really like is the way he describes how noticing appearances in awareness, such as clouds and sky, is an effortless activity.

Just as our senses have a relaxed restful-yet-alert natural state .... this is exactly what original unagitated awareness is experienced as being like ... exactly.

Notice your sense of sight right now.

Stop reading for a moment.

Relax the focus of your vision, and just notice, in the relaxed-yet-alert effortless condition of seeing, when you are just "taking in" the sights in your environment, without focus on any particular thing.

Now, do the same with your hearing; just take in, without focusing on any one sound ... the sounds in your environment, in the relaxed-yet-alert natural state of your hearing.

The natural state that is talked about is exactly the same thing ... with resting, non-focused awareness.

Just as your seeing has a natural state, without focus, relaxed-yet-alert, as does your hearing ...... so do awareness.

Relaxed vision feels open, yes?

Relaxed hearing feels open, too, yes?

Relaxed sight is not any of the things it sees.

Relaxed hearing is not any of the sounds it hears.

Relaxed awareness is not any of the thoughts it notices.

There is a natural relaxed-yet-alert state for all senses ... including mind.




Wholeheartedly,

Kirtanman
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Tibetan_Ice

Canada
758 Posts

Posted - Nov 15 2009 :  7:39:32 PM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Everyone :)
The purpose of this discussion is not to denigrate anyone's experiences nor dismiss anyone's achievements so far.

The purpose of this post is to explain my definition of 'enlightenment' and in doing so, help to point out why I feel so many people are falling short of this 'final permanent state' of being, and why I don't believe most of the people in the world who claim to be, or appear to be enlightened are enlightened.

What is 'enlightenment', 'being awakened', 'cosmic consciousness', 'self realization', 'God Consciouness', 'Nirvana', 'Nagual -Carlos Casteneda', the Tao, presence, the Now, or what ever you want to call it?

I have no idea, yet I have many ideas.

Omni-present, Omni-potent, Omni-Omni for all time and creation.

If you are realized, then in my mind, you should have these characteristics, all of them, even if you do not use them or have ever exhibited these characteristics:

You can 'be' everywhere or anywhere at any time. You can commune with any and all beings in creation, at any time, for you are 'all'. You love everyone and everything because you are everyone and everything and you love yourself.

You are super intelligent, for you know all, everything. All knowledge from all time is readily available. You can beat any computer at chess, understand string theory (and whether or not it is true), understand atomic reactions, you know what the past was and what future will be, there is no mystery left in existence. You understand the chakras, kundalini, the levels of kundalini, the planes of existence, reincarnation, karma, the void, life..

You are super powerful, unimaginably powerful. You can walk on water, walk through walls, fly through the air, heal any disease, bring people back to life, know the thoughts of others, know what the future will bring, you can materialize gems from prana, become invisible, take any form you wish, for you are omnipresent and omnipotent. You have endless energy and the knowledge and power to create and destroy. You can create universes (or destroy them) in the blink of an eye.

You realize that all of these abilities are nothing special because life is but a dream; a child at play. Existence is a cartoon world and 'you' are not the Bugs Bunny you think you are. You are the one with the remote control. :)

That is my definition of 'enlightenment'.

Anyone who reduces my definition of enlightenment to anything less is suspect and, in my eyes, has not yet realized the omni-potent omni-present state.

Anyone who redefines my definition of 'enlightenment' into fewer components, such as the oneness theory that has at its roots a 'unitary consciousness' as the sole process for enlightenment, I would say is missing the 'intelligence' and the 'power -energy' components of enlightenment.

Note: "I'm not saying that the experience of unitary consciousness is not valid, it is entirely valid, for I have experienced that type of experience myself during heart viewing meditations. And Patanjali does say: "Focusing with perfect discipline on the heart, one understands the nature of consciousness." But understanding the nature of consciousness is a far step away from my definition of enlightenment.

So now you can see my reluctance to accept a lesser definition of 'enlightenment'. So now you can see my reluctance to accept anyone's teachings that distill or reduce 'enlightenment' to incomplete components.

:)
TI







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Kirtanman

USA
1651 Posts

Posted - Nov 15 2009 :  11:36:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit Kirtanman's Homepage  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi TI,

quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan_Ice

Patanjali does say: "Focusing with perfect discipline on the heart, one understands the nature of consciousness." But understanding the nature of consciousness is a far step away from my definition of enlightenment.



Thanks for the clarification.



And yes, it would seem that what we're discussing here, and your conception of enlightenment are two very different things.

quote:

So now you can see my reluctance to accept a lesser definition of 'enlightenment'. So now you can see my reluctance to accept anyone's teachings that distill or reduce 'enlightenment' to incomplete components.



Why do you conceive of definitions different than your current definition as "lesser"?

It sounds as though you're saying that if someone's definition or description of enlightenment is different than your current conclusion, that is it either "lesser" or "incomplete".

Is that an accurate re-statement of what you're saying?

(I'm genuinely seeking to be clear on what's being said; if you have already decided "how it is", I'm not sure what there would be to discuss.)



As I said in another post in this thread:

We're discussing living consciously from the full spectrum of original, unaltered awareness ... and we're (loosely, in my case) called that "enlightenment".

Part of the experiencing of this awareness is a shifting in identity from a limited idea of self, to an unlimited experiencing of, and identification with, the full field of awareness.

Many, including myself, are comfortable calling this "enlightenment".

However, enlightenment is, ultimately just a word; the exact evaluation of what a given word means, especially when it points beyond the realm of meaning entirely, can vary greatly.

I certainly don't match your definition of enlightenment.

I've never known, or heard of any enlightened teacher (or, one who is widely recognized as such, using traditional definitions of the term .... Ramana Maharshi, Swami Lakshmanjoo, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Adyashanti, Yogani, etc.) who would fit your definition of enlightenment, either.

However, there are definitions of enlightenment given in widely-respected, centuries-old texts (the Shiva Sutras, the Yoga Spandakarika, the Vijnanabhairava Tantra, the Yoga Sutras, etc.), as well as some more modern compilations and teachings (I Am That by Nisargadatta Maharaj, the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, Emptiness Dancing by Adyashanti, the AYP Lessons and AYP Enlightenment Series of books by Yogani) which do match, either exactly, or very closely .... the experiencing of enlightenment being described in this thread.

Enlightenment isn't about the word "enlightenment"; it's about the reality to which the word points.

And so, if you wish to define enlightenment as you do, that's fine ... but I'm not so sure you'll ever find anyone who matches it.

There are stories/rumors of those with amazing physical and energetic "siddhis" ... superpowers, if you will.

The Yoga Sutras and the Shiva Sutras both list them under "obstructions", and "obstacles" to realization and enlightenment; not as qualities of enlightenment.

Why?

Because even if one relaxes mind enough to be able to do some of the things you suggest, the manifestation of "actual super powers" brings limited mind roaring back into the picture -- either in the experiencing of the one with the powers (this is quite likely, in fact; it's only limited mind who would seek such powers, in the first place), or in the experiencing of those who experience the powers demonstrated.

Enlightenment, by most traditional and modern definitions, is about unitive awareness.

It seems that this is not the case with your definition of enlightenment, and that's fine.

Adyashanti has a great line about omniscience, where he says (basically; I'm paraphrasing just a little ... I heard this live at a satsang, years ago) ...

"People think that when you're enlightened, you know everything. Actually, the opposite is true; I know so much less than I did before I was enlightened, it's not even funny!"

(The satsang group laughed, and then he laughed, and continued ....)

"And some of you are probably thinking: 'Greeeat! THIS isn't what I came here for!' ... and, if anyone feels that way, you can get your donation back at the door ....!"

(And he laughed some more, as did everyone.)

I can concur with this (not in the sense of "enlightenment is or isn't blah blah blah") .... just in the sense that as the experiencing of awareness completed, the sense of "knowing things" dissipated, rather than grew.

There are three basic tiers to consciousness; knowledge is only applicable in the first two (physical and mental), and not the third (spiritual; nirvikalpa; turiya, etc.).

Thoughtless (knowledge-less) awareness is taught as being the highest condition of consciousness in every mystical and yogic system.

When limited mind falls away, self-knowing and infinite awareness are revealed (to have never been anywhere "else", but simply to have been blocked by ideas).

"The Tao which can be spoken of is not the Tao."
~Tao Te Ching


The Self is liberated awareness.
(Caitanyamatma - Shiva Sutras 1.1)

Knowledge is bondage.
(Jnanam Bandhah - Shiva Sutras 1.2)

This all sounds very different than your definition of enlightenment, and again that's fine.

Thanks for sharing your definition.

Wholeheartedly,

Kirtanman


Edited by - Kirtanman on Nov 15 2009 11:39:08 PM
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Christi

United Kingdom
3644 Posts

Posted - Nov 16 2009 :  06:43:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Kirtanman,

Your normally *extremely* long posts are turning into veritable essays!

quote:
*However, I agree with you (Christi) that not falling into the types of mind-traps which Yogani has warned against is something that is important enough to emphasize and clarify. I hope that I have done so sufficiently in this post; if you (Christi) still feel "otherwise", please say so, and we'll continue the discussion ... something I'm truly happy to do.


Great.

Your last post adressed to me helped to clarify many things, but there are still other things which I am concerned about so maybe we could discuss a little further...

quote:
.... all we're saying is: enlightenment is real; it's wonderful, in a normal and real way; you can actually have it, too; all you have to do is drop all your ideas about it ... and everything else.



I think this is the crux of the matter. What I am hearing you say (in this thread and many others) is a lot of the stuff before the dots and not a lot, if any, of the stuff after the dots (until your last, helpful clarifying post). In other words, often, it sounds like you are saying: "All you need to do is drop your ideas about being unenlightened, and you will realize that you have been enlightened all along".

Now you say this is an invitation, but it could very easily be interpreted as a practice... something you have to do in order to realize enlightenment, an invitation to practice if you like. In fact, it is something which can be done, and enlightenment can be realized by doing it when the conditions for practice are right. You offer this invitation so enthusiastically that it could easily be mistaken for proselytizing even if it isn't.

As I mentioned in my posts above, I feel that there are certain dangers with this approach and I am concerned that you are not doing enough to high-light the possible dangers and help people avoid these potential pitfalls. I will try and explain as clearly as I can what I see these dangers as being, and what I see you not doing, in terms of helping people to avoid them:

The first danger is that someone hearing those words will think: "Great, I'm already enlightened, there is nothing I need to do", what Yogani calls the illusion of having arrived as we discussed above. Over the years, I have met many people who have told me that there is no need to practice Yoga, because we are all already enlightened, and any attempt to "get enlightened", will simply take us further away from that which we already are. In their view, any striving, which includes engaging in any spiritual practice at all, is an expression of the desire of egoic consciousness and is just part of what “thinking mind” thinks it needs to do in order to get something which it could never get anyway. It is a serious trap, because the logic is impeccable, to the rational mind, and as long as someone is operating from the rational mind, there is little that anyone can do to help someone caught in the trap. On reading your posts, I can't see much that would help someone reading along, avoid falling into this trap.

A second danger is what Yogani calls "thinking about thinking" which (again) we also discussed above. Even if you are writing “from and as” a place of undifferentiated pure awareness, by the time your words come out of your mouth, or are typed onto a computer screen, they are in the form of concepts. If someone has little or no inner silence present, and is operating largely from a place of mentalization, then these concepts are going to be taken at face value, and the trap of "thinking about thinking" can begin. It seems to me that when you talk about constantly warning people about this very danger repeatedly in your posts, you are referring to the way you say things to the effect of: "don't believe anything that limited mind tells you, because limited mind is the very thing that is preventing you from seeing your true nature as original unconditioned awareness".

What concerns me is that someone who is coming from a place of conceptualization (limited mind) may take that concept (your advice and warning), and make it the thought about which thought revolves. In other words someone may think that all they need to do is to "figure out" how to stop having un-enlightened thoughts, and then they will "get it". Again, you wouldn't believe the number of people I have come across playing this game, after having encountered neo-advaitist teachings. It’s the biggest tail chasing game imaginable, and can go on for years. So what I am saying is that putting in the caveat: "Aything you could think about enlightenment, isn't it", isn't necessarily going to prevent people from falling into the trap of "thinking about thinking". I feel that a stronger, and clearer warning about the necessity of the presence of inner silence is useful here, as the trap of “thinking about thinking”, or “working enlightenment out”, can’t be engaged in when the mind is silent.

The third danger, as (again) I mentioned above briefly, is the danger of premature kundalini awakening. If someone does manage to drop all unenlightened thoughts (after following your invitation to do so), and has an awakening experience (an experience of the oneness of all things), it can happen either after, or before the awakening of kundalini. If it happens before the awakening of kundalini, then it is a kind of "all bets off" scenario. An awakening experience can be (as I'm sure you know) an extremely powerful experience and can last anything from hours or days, to weeks or months. The pull on kundalini can be very strong and so there is no way of gauging the speed of kundalini awakening that may follow, or, for that matter, the degree of readiness of the person involved.

You say that you are not advising anyone to fly who does not have the wings to fly with. What I hear you saying, repeatedly is this: "enlightenment is real; it's wonderful, in a normal and real way; you can actually have it, too; all you have to do is drop all your ideas about it ". I don’t hear any mention of who may be ready to follow this advice safely, and who may not in terms of kundalini.

The thing about saying things like: “enlightenment is wonderful, all you have to do is drop all your ideas about it ...”, is that most people simply don't “get it”. In fact, in my experience the vast majority of people don't get it. If most people did get it, all of Yogani's writings would have been a waste of time. It would simply have been enough for him to have written: "Let go of all of your illusory thoughts about reality, and see that we are and have always been, one."

20 words.

Then most people would "get it", and expand their individuated awareness into the undifferentiated awareness that is reality, living in a continual flow of pure-bliss-consciousness, and the energetic radiance from their bodies would be enough to carry everyone else into unity consciousness.

But unfortunately, it doesn't seem to work that way. Many people have been exposed to this kind of thinking now and some would say that of those hearing it only one in a thousand "gets it". Personally I would say that is an optimistic figure. So we have to ask: what happens to everyone else, the ones who hear it, but don't "get it"? What happens to the other 999? That is where the pitfalls can come in to play and why I feel it is so important to guard against them.

What we really need to be asking here is: "What is the best way to bring someone to the point where they are able to see through the illusory nature of the self, and live as unbound awareness, forever free?" In my opinion, and experience, it has always been, spiritual practices. I am sure you would agree, so what I am saying is that very often I don't feel that comes across well through the way you write, and very often, something quite other comes across. I am also saying that the cautionary advice you give, even when it is there, could well be insufficient given the potential problems involved.

I hope that helps to clarify my concerns.

Christi

Edited by - Christi on Nov 16 2009 07:01:33 AM
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Christi

United Kingdom
3644 Posts

Posted - Nov 16 2009 :  07:27:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi TI,

quote:
Omni-present, Omni-potent, Omni-Omni for all time and creation.

If you are realized, then in my mind, you should have these characteristics, all of them, even if you do not use them or have ever exhibited these characteristics:

You can 'be' everywhere or anywhere at any time. You can commune with any and all beings in creation, at any time, for you are 'all'. You love everyone and everything because you are everyone and everything and you love yourself.

You are super intelligent, for you know all, everything. All knowledge from all time is readily available. You can beat any computer at chess, understand string theory (and whether or not it is true), understand atomic reactions, you know what the past was and what future will be, there is no mystery left in existence. You understand the chakras, kundalini, the levels of kundalini, the planes of existence, reincarnation, karma, the void, life..

You are super powerful, unimaginably powerful. You can walk on water, walk through walls, fly through the air, heal any disease, bring people back to life, know the thoughts of others, know what the future will bring, you can materialize gems from prana, become invisible, take any form you wish, for you are omnipresent and omnipotent. You have endless energy and the knowledge and power to create and destroy. You can create universes (or destroy them) in the blink of an eye.

You realize that all of these abilities are nothing special because life is but a dream; a child at play. Existence is a cartoon world and 'you' are not the Bugs Bunny you think you are. You are the one with the remote control. :)

That is my definition of 'enlightenment'.


It looks like you are drawing the line a lot higher up in terms of what we should or should not call enlightenment. Personally I don't see anything wrong with that, it is really just a question of semantics. The real question for me is, what is useful? Jesus didn't become Christ in a day, it took him years (and possibly lifetimes) of spiritual practices and a gradual unfoldment and expansion on both a conscious and energetic level.

What we could say, is that unity consciousness (which Kirtanman and Wayne Wirs are describing) is an initial stage of enlightenment, and that there are further stages beyond that. I referred to this a while ago in another thread as the stages of spiritual unfoldment beyond the realization of advaita.

Ultimately, it is really just a question of agreeing on language, or on agreeing to disagree on language but still understanding what the other person is talking about.

Christi
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chinna

United Kingdom
241 Posts

Posted - Nov 16 2009 :  07:28:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit chinna's Homepage  Get a Link to this Reply
Enlightenment is, so they say, beyond 'point of view'.

Discussing our points of view about no-point-of-view, as we do, is a fine paradox.

But try as we might, we can't stop until it stops.

chinna
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YogaIsLife

641 Posts

Posted - Nov 16 2009 :  4:09:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit YogaIsLife's Homepage  Get a Link to this Reply
Here goes a grain of sand that surely is going to be lost in the middle of all this sand...

I don't care about enlightenment or whether a certain person calls itself enlightened or whether he truly is or not, or even what the definition of enlightenment really is. Enlightenemnt has been having too much hype nowadays. Enlightenment is a label, a concept, and at such has many definitions, as many as there are people in the world. We all have different images in our heads of what enlightenment is or should be.

There is one thing I care about though: the state/feeling/sense of wholeness, peace, contentment, or, as I like to call it, true happiness. I believe this is what the sages refer to when they speak abotu enlightenment. This is the "way life meant to be lived" (not undermining all other states, they are all useful and precious!). This state is definitely not a concept and we all felt this to a degree or another in our lives, even if just for a brief moment. That is why we "seek" it! You wouldn't seek something you wouldn't believe in or had a sense is real!

So what really matters is if someone is truly happy or content. No, what truly matters is if WE (with this I mean YOU reading this words) are truly happy or content.

This contentment is not a concept, it is a true state, as the state of depression, sadness, confusion, but this other state of true happiness includes all possible states. It is whole, it is beyond all other states and yet it includes all other states. It adores all. I know this for a fact because I've been there. It is the sweetest thing. Once you taste it your life will never be the same, nothing else will seem to fullfill you nearly as much. And that state is not something that you obtain through external things at all, it is purely the shift in the relationship you have with yourself. Pure and simple. Change the relationship you have with yourself, the way you view yourself, the way you treat yourself, and you will be changing the relationship you have with the cosmos. You will be changing everuthing.

Now, the trick here is that a person that is truly content does not need to prove it or even show it to anybody else. The beauty of this is that this state is its own reward. It is whole, it is complete, simple.

But it can be shared of course. That overflowing joy can't help but overflow. It is pure Love. But words are not needed necessarily, there are many ways in which it can flow, spontaneously. In fact we are always sharing, no matter in what state we are in, so if we are in that state of wholeness we are spreading pure love of course. That is all. Now go and seek that within yourself if that is what you aim for. Seek that feeling you once had even if briefly, inquire where did it come from, where did it go, can I get it back and how. Inquire what did it mean, what was that? See how you are treating yourself. Am I good to myself? Do I love myself? Am I being harsh, judgemental, violent towards myself? This will determine all other things in your life. Everything will be included.

This is just to say that the debate on what is enlightenemnt is frutiless and pointless. Once you get whatever you think you want, if it is at all worth it, you wouldn't care a tiny little bit what you call it, it is beyond any names or concepts or definitions. It is complete on its own. And the important thing is to experience it, if that is what you want and need.

My 2 cents...

All the very best!
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machart

USA
342 Posts

Posted - Nov 16 2009 :  9:59:40 PM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
I enjoyed your post YIL!
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Kirtanman

USA
1651 Posts

Posted - Nov 16 2009 :  11:03:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit Kirtanman's Homepage  Get a Link to this Reply

Hi Christi,

Thanks very much for staying with this dialog; you've made some very important points in this post that I very much appreciate.




quote:
Originally posted by Christi


Your last post adressed to me helped to clarify many things, but there are still other things which I am concerned about so maybe we could discuss a little further...



quote:
Originally posted by Kirtanman
.... all we're saying is: enlightenment is real; it's wonderful, in a normal and real way; you can actually have it, too; all you have to do is drop all your ideas about it ... and everything else.



quote:
Originally posted by Christi
I think this is the crux of the matter. What I am hearing you say (in this thread and many others) is a lot of the stuff before the dots and not a lot, if any, of the stuff after the dots (until your last, helpful clarifying post). In other words, often, it sounds like you are saying: "All you need to do is drop your ideas about being unenlightened, and you will realize that you have been enlightened all along".



Thanks, Christi. I can see how someone could potentially interpret that comment in that way ... and that is absolutely not what I am intending to convey.

What I am saying is this:

In my experience, there is a tendency to mystify and conceptualize enlightenment, which pushes the experience of it farther away.

In the "spirit of AYP", which is to help as many people to experience enlightenment as possible, I was attempting to give a clearer picture of the actuality of enlightenment.

My phrasing may have, for some people at least, potentially been counter-productive, so let me see if I can clear up what I was trying to say.

Our true nature is original unaugmented awareness.

The augmented awareness of limited-mind/ego occurs within (is a subset of) original awareness.

Original awareness is always already here.

Obviously, however, the experiencing of original unaugmented awareness is anything but always already here; "hence yoga".

"Dropping all ideas" about everything else includes much of what is stored in long-term physical memory (protein-encoded memory, in and as the brain and body).

Meditation and yoga practices literally reformat the body-mind .... literally, physically and energetically recreate it.

I have never known or known of an enlightened person (quote-unquote) who has not gone through this process.

I'm not sure it is possible to avoid this process.

A non-reformatted body-mind cannot contain and express enlightenment, any more than a prepubescent child can produce another child, sexually.

100% of the intent of my statements in this thread is this:

To help make sadhana (yogic practices) more efficient, by helping to eradicate some/all of the conceptual misperception surrounding enlightenment, by simply stating that enlightenment is attainable, that AYP can help us to experience (the fairly-generally accepted definition/condition of) enlightenment, and that no ideas about enlightenment are useful to facilitating the experience of enlightenment.

This includes the idea that enlightenment is found somewhere other than here, and "some when" other than now.

That's the entire point of my saying "enlightenment is real; enlightenment is all that's real".

I simply mean that enlightenment is nothing conceptual; it involves nothing that is not real.

Technically, this includes the condition of unenlightenment; if someone is suffering based upon misperceiving their true nature as partial and unwhole, this is part of reality .... but the basis for their suffering, their conceptual conditioning, is not real.

And so, if people "get" (mentally understand) that there's nothing about enlightenment that's actually outside of what they truly are, and specifically, what they truly are here and now (where else, and "when else", is there?), it can help them to understand that it is only conceptual misunderstanding, including conceptual misunderstanding encoded in long-term physical memory that is governing the neurochemistry of the body-mind ... that makes and projects unenlightenment.

Just as physical exercise reformats neurochemistry (on top of its other myriad health benefits), so does meditation and yoga.

Exercise primarily addresses physical and mental health; meditation and yoga practices help open the door to spiritual health ... and to the realms of infinite awareness beyond the experience of "physical and mental only".

Every instance of ego reinforces error in the body-mind.

Every instance of thought-free awareness reinforces truth in the body-mind.

And so, while the fulness of infinite, eternal, original unaugmented awareness is who and what we each and all actually are now ....

It will very, very likely take some significant meditation and yoga practices (or the practices of an equivalently efficacious set of spiritual disciplines) to create an "enlightenment capable" environment in a given body-mind.

The way to this experiencing has been known all over the world for thousands of years.

When language and culture "externalized" the human experience, the way back home was lost to all but a few in each area of the world (the mystics and yogis of the world's wisdom traditions).

I hope this clears up what I'm saying.

And just as importantly, I hope it inspires everyone reading, concerning what's possible.





quote:
Originally posted by Christi
Now you say this is an invitation, but it could very easily be interpreted as a practice... something you have to do in order to realize enlightenment, an invitation to practice if you like.



That seems to be getting down to the "definitional".

I am suggesting people drop all conceptual ideas, especially any they may think are connected with enlightenment.

I'm not suggesting it as any kind of a formal addition or enhancement to AYP; that's solely Yogani's realm.

I'm simply saying that it's useful to do.

Some might define that as a practice, because it involves the term "do".

I don't think of it as such, nor am I suggesting it as such.

The invitation is *to* the experiencing of enlightenment:

It's real; it's possible; it's worth anything and everything you might go through to get here.

The two primary sets of people I have in mind, when I'm saying the things I'm saying in this thread, are:

*Those who may be pushing enlightenment away from their own experience by conceptualizing it.

&

*Those who may wonder if meditation and yoga are "worth it", over the long run.

Enlightenment (the living experience of living unbound from and as original awareness) does involve utter liberation .... far beyond what the mind can conceive; it involves peace beyond all understanding and the end of all suffering.

I completely disagree with the neo-advaitin view of "this is it" ... if the sense of "this is it" leaves one with an experience that is anything short of what I describe above.

Where and how do I draw the line?

I don't.

Enlightenment is the living experience of the real ... which is whole, perfect and one; our true nature is formless awareness, utterly free; we are not limited to, or by, that which we conceive to limit us.

Identity shifts from the misconception of partiality, to no conception at all.

Anything that includes concepts in the sense of self is simply not real.

Enlightenment is the living experience of freedom from confusing concepts with actuality.


quote:
Originally posted by Christi
In fact, it is something which can be done, and enlightenment can be realized by doing it when the conditions for practice are right. You offer this invitation so enthusiastically that it could easily be mistaken for proselytizing even if it isn't.



I'm not so sure I agree with you here, but respect your views as always, and am happy to try to "err" on the side of at least clarifying my view here, if at all possible.

In my experience, many people extend the amount of time it takes to reach enlightenment, or even to make significant progress in sadhana, because they understand at all that it is solely conceptual misunderstanding which ultimately binds them.

And so, the sooner that anyone can learn to see the amazing amount of conceptual stories with and by which they keep unenlightenment in place, the more quickly they will know their true nature, which includes the ongoing, living experience of completion, liberation, clarity and peace.

I don't see this as something the requires the "right conditions" ... but rather, something that anyone can and will be served by noticing and implementing.

Not doing this just involves keeping a dream, a lie, in place longer ... and, as far as I know, no one is ever actually benefited by doing this.

I'm not stating any of this as absolute fact, nor am I evangelizing it, just sharing living experience.

My enthusiasm is much more tied to:

The reality of enlightenment is infinitely better than any and all conceptions about it .... and, as I've said elsewhere in the forum quite a few times: "C'Mon IN; the Divine is Fine!!"




quote:
Originally posted by Christi
As I mentioned in my posts above, I feel that there are certain dangers with this approach and I am concerned that you are not doing enough to high-light the possible dangers and help people avoid these potential pitfalls. I will try and explain as clearly as I can what I see these dangers as being, and what I see you not doing, in terms of helping people to avoid them:

The first danger is that someone hearing those words will think: "Great, I'm already enlightened, there is nothing I need to do", what Yogani calls the illusion of having arrived as we discussed above. Over the years, I have met many people who have told me that there is no need to practice Yoga, because we are all already enlightened, and any attempt to "get enlightened", will simply take us further away from that which we already are. In their view, any striving, which includes engaging in any spiritual practice at all, is an expression of the desire of egoic consciousness and is just part of what “thinking mind” thinks it needs to do in order to get something which it could never get anyway. It is a serious trap, because the logic is impeccable, to the rational mind, and as long as someone is operating from the rational mind, there is little that anyone can do to help someone caught in the trap. On reading your posts, I can't see much that would help someone reading along, avoid falling into this trap.



Hopefully, I've clarified this, above.

Please let me know if you feel any clarity on what I'm actually saying, and/or if you still see any issues, per your concern mentioned above (I agree it is important to help people not to fall into this trap, if at all possible).

And, very good point ..... thank you for raising it.



quote:
Originally posted by Christi
A second danger is what Yogani calls "thinking about thinking" which (again) we also discussed above. Even if you are writing “from and as” a place of undifferentiated pure awareness, by the time your words come out of your mouth, or are typed onto a computer screen, they are in the form of concepts.



Technically, this may be true ... but I'm not so sure that it's true generally. If you can give any examples of where you feel I'm stating things conceptually, please let me know.

My general intent is always to be as unambiguous as possible.





quote:
Originally posted by Christi
If someone has little or no inner silence present, and is operating largely from a place of mentalization, then these concepts are going to be taken at face value, and the trap of "thinking about thinking" can begin.



True.

However, I would see physical exercise as offering a good analogy, once again, here.

People who have exercised, or engaged in sports or other athletic activities ... or those who have been doing AEP (Advanced Exercise Practices) for a while .... will have more "inherent facility" with the process, than someone who has never exercised, before.

However, good exercise principles are for everyone, and each person can adopt them, according to their own ability.

"Drop all conceptual stories" is something that anyone can at least start to look at, and attempt to implement.

This is the basis for many "consumer level" spiritual teachings, including The Work of Byron Katie, and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, Adyashanti's teaches, and even AYP (I would say), along with quite a few others.

It seems to be very much suitable for a general audience.

As practices and inquiry deepen, and as practices and inquiry dissolve blocks and facilitate inner silence, one's ability to see and turn away from the conceptual increases.

I've just seen many people needlessly "circle" in unenlightenment for a long time, due to beliefs and concepts.

I don't see any kind of "readiness level" as a pre-requisite to start to notice this dynamic (viewing life and the world through the distorted lenses of one's conceptual conditioning).

And, I'm guessing that some readers, at least, may not have realize how fundamental being "stuck in the conceptual" is, to unenlightenment.

And so, I'm just trying to help everyone's process along, by stating:

*Dropping all conceptual distortion will help you realize the benefits of meditation practice much much faster than if you don't."

It's not an ancillary thing; it's primary.

AUM represents the three "normal" states of limited consciousness: waking, dreaming and deep sleep (A, U & M).

The "U", or dream layer, refers to mental form; mental images - imaginations, concepts, etc.

This also equates to discursive, conceptual thinking ("Life should be ..."; "people are ...", "I should ...."; "she shouldn't ...", etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.).

When we identify with the reactive thinking, with which limited mind has "conditioned and been conditioned" over the course of a lifetime, we basically become a "thought me" ... a fictitious creation of our own limited mind (with a little/lot of "help" from the host of limited minds around the limited mind which seems to "be the person inhabiting this body-mind").

We become this thought-me by "giving and receiving" conceptual conditioning in the (so-called) waking state, which causes reinforcing of re-active thinking.

And in the dream state, whether dreams at night, or conceptual thinking during waking hours .... mental form and mental images are mental form and mental images.

The problematic ones are the conceptual ones that consist of identification with limited form; appearance of limited form doesn't mean we *are* limited form, any more than the content of our sight at this moment says anything about who and what we actually are, now.

Identification with these limited and limiting concepts, as continuously rexperienced and reinforced in the waking (physical) and dreaming (mental) states makes the programming language which is embedded in the long-term memory of the body, which serves as the subconscious operating system for our life.

And it's all based on a mistaken self-conception we were programmed with in early childhood.

Meditation and yoga are the "cure" ... because the inner silence of meditation ... original awareness ... dissolves, or melts the unconscious identification with limited and limiting form which projects unenlightenment from the past, into the present now.

HOWEVER, if we continue to live from conceptual conditioning, not even being aware that it's the primary cause of the pathology of unenlightenment, we are, as they say in Kabbalah: "Sewing with one hand, while undoing the stitch with the other."

Alignment counts for essentially everything.

"When your eye is single, your whole body will be full of light."

Reinforcing conceptual conditioning while meditating and engaging in other yoga practices, is like accelerating with the parking brake on, while driving.

And so, I'm just suggesting:

Maybe release the parking brake (conceptual conditioning) ... you'll drive faster, there will be fewer fits and starts, and the journey home will be much more enjoyable.



It seems to me that when you talk about constantly warning people about this very danger repeatedly in your posts, you are referring to the way you say things to the effect of: "don't believe anything that limited mind tells you, because limited mind is the very thing that is preventing you from seeing your true nature as original unconditioned awareness".


quote:
Originally posted by Christi
What concerns me is that someone who is coming from a place of conceptualization (limited mind) may take that concept (your advice and warning), and make it the thought about which thought revolves.



Isn't this true of the vast majority of spiritual teaching, in the world?

It's very difficult not to do this (conceptualize that which can be conceptualize, rather than simply see where it is pointing).

I'm saying "New York City - 10 Miles" ......... if someone says "But what does he mean by 'New'?" Or "Well, I read that ''York' doesn't have anything to do with tall buildings; in fact, it's not even in North America!" .... then maybe that conceptual-self isn't quite ready to visit New York City ..... ... but that doesn't necessarily mean that others won't be happy and relieved to hear that New York City is only ten miles away ... especially if they've been taught that they might not see it in this lifetime .... or that you have to become a giant gorilla before you can visit ..... ).


quote:
Originally posted by Christi
In other words someone may think that all they need to do is to "figure out" how to stop having un-enlightened thoughts, and then they will "get it". Again, you wouldn't believe the number of people I have come across playing this game, after having encountered neo-advaitist teachings. It’s the biggest tail chasing game imaginable, and can go on for years.

So what I am saying is that putting in the caveat: "Aything you could think about enlightenment, isn't it", isn't necessarily going to prevent people from falling into the trap of "thinking about thinking".

I feel that a stronger, and clearer warning about the necessity of the presence of inner silence is useful here, as the trap of “thinking about thinking”, or “working enlightenment out”, can’t be engaged in when the mind is silent.



I AGREE WHOLEHEARTEDLY WITH WHAT YOU WROTE ABOVE.

In fact, that's what I've been trying to emphasize.

It's almost impossible to state it too strongly.

Concepts have nothing to do with enlightenment.

Concepts cannot be present when the mind is silent.

What I am saying is: anyone can help this process along by watching for, and releasing the conceptual .... not by thinking about it .... but by "dropping" or "turning away from" the thought.

Addicts who think about drugs usually use more drugs. Addicts and alcoholics who really wants to be "clean and sober" are willing to follow the proven steps which help preserve sobriety.

Thinking about alcohol and drugs as little as possible helps to move one in the direction of solid and permanent sobriety.

Thinking about anything conceptual as little as possible helps move one in the direction of solid and permanent enlightenment.

Meditation and yoga are the most powerful initial ways to do this.

Once again, I'm just saying: anyone can make the process much easier on themselves by knowing that releasing conceptual identification to form facilitates enlightenment ... and behaving and (not) thinking, accordingly.




quote:
Originally posted by Christi
The third danger, as (again) I mentioned above briefly, is the danger of premature kundalini awakening. If someone does manage to drop all unenlightened thoughts (after following your invitation to do so), and has an awakening experience (an experience of the oneness of all things), it can happen either after, or before the awakening of kundalini. If it happens before the awakening of kundalini, then it is a kind of "all bets off" scenario. An awakening experience can be (as I'm sure you know) an extremely powerful experience and can last anything from hours or days, to weeks or months. The pull on kundalini can be very strong and so there is no way of gauging the speed of kundalini awakening that may follow, or, for that matter, the degree of readiness of the person involved.



I'm not so sure this is correct.

Reason being: I don't see myself as saying anything different than what Adyashanti, Byron Katie or Eckhart Tolle have said ... and, as far as I know, they haven't precipitated premature kundalini awakenings in anyone.

If you see me as saying anything that is substantially different than what they teach (with allowance for phrasing, of course) .... please let me know.

quote:
Originally posted by Christi
You say that you are not advising anyone to fly who does not have the wings to fly with. What I hear you saying, repeatedly is this: "enlightenment is real; it's wonderful, in a normal and real way; you can actually have it, too; all you have to do is drop all your ideas about it ". I don’t hear any mention of who may be ready to follow this advice safely, and who may not in terms of kundalini.



Once again, I'm saying that by way of encouragement.

Yogani has said the same thing, using slightly different words.

So has every other spiritual teacher who is popular in this forum (Byron Katie, Adyashanti, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Ramana Maharshi, etc.).

I don't recall any, with the possible exception of Yogani, adding in any caveats at all ... and certainly not to the degree you're indicating is needed.

I actually see the "issue", if it can be called such, exactly the inverse of what you're concerned about (with this third concern you've raised).

The issue isn't that people will "overload" .... it's that they'll attempt to drop conceptual ideas, and/or be confused about exactly what constitutes conceptual ... and may feel that there is something wrong, per their inability to simply drop attachment to conceptual conditioning.

To anyone who experiences this, or is concerned about it, I would say:

Practice AYP.

In a previous post, I explained how inner silence gives way to samadhi, which gives way to samadhi in daily life, which gives way to permanent identity shift.

Each of those steps represents an order-of-magnitude increase in the experiencing of original awareness, and/or of its influence.

quote:
Originally posted by Christi
The thing about saying things like: “enlightenment is wonderful, all you have to do is drop all your ideas about it ...”, is that most people simply don't “get it”. In fact, in my experience the vast majority of people don't get it. If most people did get it, all of Yogani's writings would have been a waste of time. It would simply have been enough for him to have written: "Let go of all of your illusory thoughts about reality, and see that we are and have always been, one."



I'm pretty sure I've never said *all* you have to do.

I've said that dropping ideas represents a potentially major benefit, in terms of decreasing one's time to experiencing enlightenment .... in conjunction with, and on top of, proven practices (including inquiry), from the world's proven yogic and mystical traditions.

quote:
Originally posted by Christi
What we really need to be asking here is: "What is the best way to bring someone to the point where they are able to see through the illusory nature of the self, and live as unbound awareness, forever free?" In my opinion, and experience, it has always been, spiritual practices. I am sure you would agree, so what I am saying is that very often I don't feel that comes across well through the way you write, and very often, something quite other comes across. I am also saying that the cautionary advice you give, even when it is there, could well be insufficient given the potential problems involved.

I hope that helps to clarify my concerns.

Christi




I do agree.

And I hope you are now clear, at least, on what I'm actually saying.

If I haven't made myself quite clear, I'm not sure what else I can do to clarify.

And, I hope that with that clarification, you may see that I'm not actually saying anything differently than anyone else who is expressing the actuality of enlightenment (i.e. Tolle, Kate, Yogani, Adya, etc.) ... though if this dialog has actually helped anyone to be more clear than they already were on what I am saying, it is worthwhile, of course.

And finally: the main point of my statements in this thread is simply to convey:

Enlightenment is real, and you can experience it (said to anyone reading).

It's not a fantasy; it doesn't involve many of the super-human powers that some people dream it does ... and consistent meditation and yoga .... which always includes dissolution of the conceptual dream (which facilitates, enables and defines enlightenment and liberation) at every level of consciousness, including the physical/neurochemical ... and this usually (always, as far as I know) takes both practices, and time ... and leads to enlightenment.

And it's worth whatever it takes to get here.

Wholeheartedly,

Kirtanman

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Tibetan_Ice

Canada
758 Posts

Posted - Nov 16 2009 :  11:03:13 PM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Kirtanman :)

quote:
Originally posted by Kirtanman

Why do you conceive of definitions different than your current definition as "lesser"?



Because there are missing pieces.
If you look at Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, the Sutra of focusing on the heart is just one small piece. It is lesser than the whole..
quote:

III. The Extraordinary Powers

Concentration locks consciousness on a single area.In meditative absorption, the entire perceptual flow is aligned with that object.When only the essential nature of the object shines forth, as if formless, integration has arisen.Concentration, meditative absorption, and integration regarding a single object comprise the perfect discipline of consciousness.Once the perfect discipline of consciousness is mastered, wisdom dawns.Perfect discipline is mastered in stages.These three components - concentration, absorption, and integration - are more interiorized than the preceding five.

Even these three are external to integration that bears no seeds.The transformation toward total stillness occurs as new latent impressions fostering cessation arise to prevent the activation of distractive, stored ones, and moments of stillness begin to permeate consciousness.These latent impressions help consciousness flow from one tranquil moment to the next.Consciousness is transformed toward integration as distractions dwindle, and focus arises.In other words, consciousness is transformed toward focus as continuity develops between arising and subsiding perceptions.Consciousness evolves along the same three lines - form, timespan, and condition - as the elements and the senses.

The substrate is unchanged, whether before, during, or after it takes a given form.

These transformations appear to unfold the way they do because consciousness is a succession of distinct patterns.

Observing these three axes of change - form, timespan, and condition - with perfect discipline yields insight into the past and future.

Word, meaning, and perception tend to get lumped together, each confused with the others; focusing on the distinctions between them with perfect discipline yields insight into the language of all beings.

Directly observing latent impressions with perfect discipline yields insight into previous births.

Focusing with perfect discipline on the perceptions of another yields insight into that person’s consciousness.

But not insight regarding the object of those perceptions, since the object itself is not actually present in that person’s consciousness.

When the body’s form is observed with perfect discipline, it becomes invisible: the eye is disengaged from incoming light, and the power to perceive is suspended.

Likewise, through perfect discipline other percepts - sound, smell, taste, touch - can be made to disappear.

The effects of action may be immediate or slow in coming; observing one’s actions with perfect discipline, or studying omens, yields insight into death.

Focusing with perfect discipline on friendliness, compassion, delight, and equanimity, one is imbued with their energies.

Focusing with perfect discipline on the powers of an elephant, or other entities, one acquires those powers.

Being absorbed in the play of the mind’s luminosity yields insight about the subtle, hidden, and distant.

Focusing with perfect discipline on the sun yields insight about the universe.

Focusing with perfect discipline on the moon yields insight about the stars’ positions.

Focusing with perfect discipline on the polestar yields insight about their movements.

Focusing with perfect discipline on the navel energy center yields insight about the organization of the body.

Focusing with perfect discipline on the pit of the throat eradicates hunger and thirst.

Focusing with perfect discipline on the ‘tortoise channel’, one cultivates steadiness.

Focusing with perfect discipline on the light in the crown of the head, one acquires the perspective of the perfected ones.

Or, all these accomplishments may be realized in a flash of spontaneous illumination.

Focusing with perfect discipline on the heart, one understands the nature of consciousness.

Experience consists of perceptions in which the luminous aspect of the phenomenal world is mistaken for absolutely pure awareness. Focusing with perfect discipline on the different properties of each yields insight into the nature of pure awareness.

Following this insight, the senses - hearing, feeling, seeing, tasting, smelling - may suddenly be enhanced.

These sensory gifts may feel like attainments, but they distract one from integration.

By relaxing one’s attachment to the body, and becoming profoundly sensitive to its currents, consciousness can enter another’s body.

By mastering the flow of energy in the head and neck, one can walk through water, mud, thorns, and other obstacles without touching down, but rather floating over them.

By mastering the flow of energy through the solar plexus, one becomes radiant.

By focusing with perfect discipline on the way sound travels through the ether, one acquires divine hearing.

By focusing with perfect discipline on the body’s relationship to the ether, and developing coalesced contemplation on the lightness of cotton, one can travel through space.

When consciousness completely disengages from externals - the ‘great disembodiment’ - then the veil lifts from the mind’s luminosity.

By observing the aspects of matter - gross, subtle, intrinsic, relational, purposive - with perfect discipline, one masters the elements.

Then extraordinary faculties appear, including the power to shrink to the size of an atom, as the body attains perfection, transcending physical law.

This perfection includes beauty, grace, strength, and the durability of a diamond.

By observing the various aspects of the sense organs - their processes of perception, intrinsic natures, identification as self, interconnectedness, purposes - with perfect discipline, one masters them.

Then, free from the constraints of their organs, the senses perceive with the quickness of the mind, no longer in the sway of the phenomenal world.

Once one just sees the distinction between pure awareness and the luminous aspect of the phenomenal world, all conditions are known and mastered.

When one is unattached even to this omniscience and mastery, the seeds of suffering wither, and pure awareness knows it stands alone.

Even if the exalted beckon, one must avoid attachment and pride, or suffering will recur.

Focusing with perfect discipline on the succession of moments in time yields insight born of discrimination.

This insight allows one to tell things apart which, through similarities of origin, feature, or position, had seemed continuous.

In this way, discriminative insight deconstructs all of the phenomenal world’s objects and conditions, setting them apart from pure awareness.

Once the luminosity and transparency of consciousness have become as distilled as pure awareness, they can reflect the freedom of awareness back to itself.




You said:
quote:

Part of the experiencing of this awareness is a shifting in identity from a limited idea of self, to an unlimited experiencing of, and identification with, the full field of awareness.

Many, including myself, are comfortable calling this "enlightenment".



Ok. Let's create a new term. Let's call it enGoddenment. :)

quote:


I've never known, or heard of any enlightened teacher (or, one who is widely recognized as such, using traditional definitions of the term .... Ramana Maharshi, Swami Lakshmanjoo, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Adyashanti, Yogani, etc.) who would fit your definition of enlightenment, either.



I'm so happy you didn't include Jesus in there.. :)

quote:

However, there are definitions of enlightenment given in widely-respected, centuries-old texts (the Shiva Sutras, the Yoga Spandakarika, the Vijnanabhairava Tantra, the Yoga Sutras, etc.), as well as some more modern compilations and teachings (I Am That by Nisargadatta Maharaj, the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, Emptiness Dancing by Adyashanti, the AYP Lessons and AYP Enlightenment Series of books by Yogani) which do match, either exactly, or very closely .... the experiencing of enlightenment being described in this thread.



You know, there is an old saying: "Those that can, do, Those that can't, teach". I have read many stories about buddhists who attained the rainbow body and evaporated into light, leaving no trace behind (except memories of those they left behind). And who else died and took his body with him?

quote:

Enlightenment isn't about the word "enlightenment"; it's about the reality to which the word points.

And so, if you wish to define enlightenment as you do, that's fine ... but I'm not so sure you'll ever find anyone who matches it.



How about Jesus?

"Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven and all things will be added onto you". Have you ever wondered what "all things" might be?

Have you ever read "Autobiography of a Yogi" or "The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita"?

quote:

There are stories/rumors of those with amazing physical and energetic "siddhis" ... superpowers, if you will.

The Yoga Sutras and the Shiva Sutras both list them under "obstructions", and "obstacles" to realization and enlightenment; not as qualities of enlightenment.

Why?

Because even if one relaxes mind enough to be able to do some of the things you suggest, the manifestation of "actual super powers" brings limited mind roaring back into the picture -- either in the experiencing of the one with the powers (this is quite likely, in fact; it's only limited mind who would seek such powers, in the first place), or in the experiencing of those who experience the powers demonstrated.




I agree wholeheartedly. While you are climbing the ladder, there is no use for distractions. But once you arrive at the top, you don't need the ladder anymore.. Once you arrive at the top, you don't need advice either..


quote:

Adyashanti has a great line about omniscience, where he says (basically; I'm paraphrasing just a little ... I heard this live at a satsang, years ago) ...

"People think that when you're enlightened, you know everything. Actually, the opposite is true; I know so much less than I did before I was enlightened, it's not even funny!"



Yes, this definately falls short of enGoddenment. When I read that I think to myself "let's redefine enlightenment as something that is easily attainable so more people will believe that it is within their grasp."

I saw a youtube video the other day about Kundalini from this link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OAKYLLNwB4

In there Yogiraj Gurunath Siddhanath states that there are seven levels of kundalini. The first level is where most people are at. The second level is the level of geniuses like Einstein. He says the fifth level is where your body becomes a vessel of light.
Now, this may or may not be true, but I will be researching more about the levels of kundalini in the future. However, there is the component of intelligence in there that Adyashanti, by his statement, has conveniently bypassed thus mitigating the requirement.

quote:

There are three basic tiers to consciousness; knowledge is only applicable in the first two (physical and mental), and not the third (spiritual; nirvikalpa; turiya, etc.).



This to me is an oversimplification of the levels of consciousness, especially after seeing this link:
http://www.mudrashram.com/GCC2.html

Have you realized all of these levels of consciousness? Do you have that kind of energy? (I'm not goading you on here, I'm simply asking. I have had kundalini surges that have blown open the top of my head revealing what looked like infinite planes of existence and it only lasted a short while but I couldn't handle it. Mentally, I had to reject it. It was too much for my little brain. I know I'm living in a dream world right now and that is still fine with me, but I do know now that I am deceiving myself. )

quote:

Thoughtless (knowledge-less) awareness is taught as being the highest condition of consciousness in every mystical and yogic system.



This is a generalization. Neither you nor I have read or understood "every mystical and yogic system". But I'm sure one day we will. :)


My definition of enlightement (enGoddenment) is present in the world today and has existed for millenia. It is the total summation of all teachings and miraculous events throughout history. It is a confirmation that God does exist and that we are part of that, and that God is expressing itself through us.

My definition of enlightenment is what I 'know' to be true after meeting Jesus. When I met Jesus, I realized that I am but a tiny speck of light and that Jesus has the infinite power and intelligence to create infinite universes. It was so overwhelming, I was petrified, frozen, couldn't move, shocked, awed, moved beyond belief. Once you have that kind of realization you have something to measure other beings by.

You see, throughout history, God has shown us bits and pieces of him/herself because the full body showing would literally blow us apart. We would fry like mosquitos on a bonfire. So gradualy, little by little, we catch glimpses of God, just enough to paint a larger picture. Each religion/teaching/yoga has their own version of that glimpse. If you put them all together, you start to get a much larger picture.

I agree! It's just words. Just thoughts. You don't really exist, I don't really exist, nor do these wonderful tools that let us communicate with other non-beings scattered throughout the world.

Thanks again for the communications, I appreciate your time and effort.

:)
TI

Oh, I found out what that squashed triangle of light was. It hit me last night. I did not sleep at all last night! My whole inside of my head became a bright mixture of lights. It was like a light show behind my eyes in my hollow head. At one point I thought to myself, "gotta die sooner or later, might as well be now". I had one short dream about bears and then resumed the throbbing light show, intense tinitus(nada?), and feeling like someone had cut my head off. I now attribute this to having done spinal breathing while adding the following items two days before: put a smile on my face to seal ida and pingala and added "AUM" to the tracing of attention up and down the spine. Won't be doing that again anytime soon.. :)


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Kirtanman

USA
1651 Posts

Posted - Nov 16 2009 :  11:10:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit Kirtanman's Homepage  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by YogaIsLife

This is just to say that the debate on what is enlightenemnt is frutiless and pointless. Once you get whatever you think you want, if it is at all worth it, you wouldn't care a tiny little bit what you call it, it is beyond any names or concepts or definitions. It is complete on its own. And the important thing is to experience it, if that is what you want and need.

My 2 cents...

All the very best!



Hi YIL,

Agreed 100%.

I've simply been offering encouragement regarding the full benefits of yoga practices: the living experience of the fullness of original, liberated awareness.

I happen to call it enlightenment, which is understandably, a very "charged" word.

Becoming aware of this (that many people find it so "charged") causes me to be somewhat less likely to use that term moving forward.

It's not at all about what you call it.

If I wanted to go all the way to other end of the "succinct-ity" spectrum (from my usual posts), I might simply say:

AYP Works.

Everything Yogani says in the lessons is true.

I came in off the (virtual) street just a few years ago, and my living experience is now far beyond anything Yogani indicates is possible, in the AYP Lessons and books.

Wholeheartedly,

Kirtanman



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Tibetan_Ice

Canada
758 Posts

Posted - Nov 16 2009 :  11:21:47 PM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Christi
Jesus didn't become Christ in a day, it took him years (and possibly lifetimes) of spiritual practices and a gradual unfoldment and expansion on both a conscious and energetic level.



But one day, he became Christ.. :) Maybe he had a little help from his friends.. :)

quote:

What we could say, is that unity consciousness (which Kirtanman and Wayne Wirs are describing) is an initial stage of enlightenment, and that there are further stages beyond that. I referred to this a while ago in another thread as the stages of spiritual unfoldment beyond the realization of advaita.



I agree. However, in advaita the enlightenment part seems to be stuck in the human part. Why didn't Nisargadatta quit smoking? Ken Wilber (not that I give him any more license to write truth than anyone else) does say that the problem with Eckhart Tolle's presence or the 'Now' is that after experiencing it, it is interpreted according the vertical level of the dimension of consciousness that the person/group/religion is at. This kind of rung true for me, since all experience is 'remembered' and 'recalled' through the conditioned/veiled mind.

quote:


Ultimately, it is really just a question of agreeing on language, or on agreeing to disagree on language but still understanding what the other person is talking about.

Christi



Sometimes I think you are very wise. :)

:)
TI
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Tibetan_Ice

Canada
758 Posts

Posted - Nov 16 2009 :  11:38:45 PM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Anthem11

We all have an innate ability to recognize the truth of "the Absolute" (insert whatever word is meaningful for you) prior to the guessing mind getting involved. If the words of a given individual ring true for you and you feel they are expanding then that is the value right then and there.



Hi Anthem :)
I feel that I understand what you are saying.

I do not believe in the sympathetic resonation theory, because, after the initial perception, the mind takes over and the mind is that which resonates. The absolute/God/witness does not resonate. It is still. (Maybe it really isn't but that is what I believe at this time). :)

If anybody tells me "if it resonates true for you then it must be so" is probably right, however, to a thief, a tale of stolen treasure will resonate with another thief and between the two of them, the resonation will even grow stronger. Also, nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so. Or, have you ever heard the story about "Good Luck Bad Luck, Too soon to tell?

quote:

As the story goes, there was once a farmer and his only son in the days just before the Civil War. Having only one horse, the farmer and son worked long hard days, sun up to sun down, just to get by, with nothing left to spare.

One day as the father and son plowed the fields, their horse got spooked and ran off. The son was devastated; “What bad luck, now what will we do?”

The father replied; “Good luck, bad luck, too soon to tell.”

The father and son continued to work the farm. Then one day their horse comes running back over the hill with 6 other horses. The son exclaimed, “What great luck, now we have all the horses we’ll ever need!”

To which the farmer replied; “Good luck, bad luck, too soon to tell.”

The next day as the farmer and son were working with the horses, one particulary difficult horse threw the son off his back and broke his leg. The son cried: “Oh father, I am so sorry, now you have to work the farm all by yourself. What bad luck!”

Once again the father replied: “Good luck, bad luck, too soon to tell.”

Several days later the Civil War broke out and all the able bodied young men were sent off to war. The farmer’s son, having a broken leg, was forced to stay at home.

After the leg had healed, the father had the only farm around with a son to help and seven horses to boot. They worked the farm and prospered.

Good luck, bad luck. It’s too soon to tell.



So, nothing is good or bad, it is too soon to tell, and will always be too soon to tell. In my mind anyway..

Thanks for your comments.
:)
TI
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Tibetan_Ice

Canada
758 Posts

Posted - Nov 16 2009 :  11:42:01 PM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by chinna

Enlightenment is, so they say, beyond 'point of view'.

Discussing our points of view about no-point-of-view, as we do, is a fine paradox.

But try as we might, we can't stop until it stops.

chinna


Hi chinna :)
Words of wisdom! :)
Very Zen.
I look forward to those stops.
:)
TI
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YogaIsLife

641 Posts

Posted - Nov 17 2009 :  06:44:35 AM  Show Profile  Visit YogaIsLife's Homepage  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by machart

I enjoyed your post YIL!



Thanks Machart. I am glad it was of some use to someone

It was from the heart.
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Christi

United Kingdom
3644 Posts

Posted - Nov 17 2009 :  08:45:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi TI,

quote:
But one day, he became Christ.. :) Maybe he had a little help from his friends.. :)


I think he did have a little help from his friends, yes. And gave a lot of help to his friends, and everyone else for that matter.

It reminds me of a conversation which took place between the Buddha and Ananda, his main companion. Ananda said to the Buddha one day: "You know, sometimes I think that spiritual friendships are half of what the spiritual life is all about." And the Buddha replied: "No Ananda, spiritual friendships are the whole of what the spiritual life is all about".

As Nisargadatta once said: "in reality, nobody else exists". Another of those divine paradoxes.

All in the Self, the Self in all.

quote:
Sometimes I think you are very wise. :)


Don't be fooled.

Christi
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Tibetan_Ice

Canada
758 Posts

Posted - Nov 17 2009 :  11:22:18 PM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Kirtanman, :)
Here are some points of interest..

Here is an excerpt from "The Essence Of The Bhagavad Gita" explained by Paramhansa Yogananda:

quote:

In ordinary, unenlightened human beings, the ego is centered in the medulla oblongata. The yogi looks forward, as it were, from that point to the Kutastha, or the "Christ Center" between the two eyebrows. The more he concentrates on that point, the more his consciousness becomes identified with it - to the point where his center of self-awareness shifts from ego to superconsciousness. Most people, in whatever they do, radiate energy outward from the medulla oblongata at the back of the head - the seat of the ego in the body. An enlightened master, by contrast, radiates energy outward from his transformed self awareness, which is centered in the Kutastha at the point between the eyebrows. This still is the ego, which even the enlightened man needs in order to keep his body functioning. The divine Self, as differentiated from the enlightened ego, has its center in the heart.



So we see here that the usage of the term 'enlightened' is merely an adjective, and it is not the final destination. The other interesting point is that which I've bolded. That shift from ego to superconsciousness, is that the shift that Adyashanti talks about?

About siddhis (from that same book):
quote:

"These powers are helpful in that they can assure the yogi that his attainments are not merely imaginary. They can also be dangerous, however, in posing a temptation to the ego.



Here is some indication of the step along the path of God-realization (same book):
quote:

The yogi, in deep, inner communion with AUM after raising his consciousness at least to the bishuddha (cervical), finds his awareness expanding - first to the whole body, then outward to encompass all space. This state is described also as AUM samadhi. Next, he perceives the Kutastha Chaitanya, or Christ consciousness, behind the AUM vibration in the body. Gradually he expands that consciousness to encompass Christ consciousness in all manifested existence.
I once asked my Guru, "What point must one have reached to be rightly considered a master?"
He replied, "One must have attained Christ consciousness".



Is the expansion of awareness that encompasses all space being refered to here the realization of Oneness?

In the chapter called "The Field of Battle", it says this:
quote:

(13:30) When (the yogi) sees all beings as contained in the One, having expanded his consciousness (and sympathy) to include all living beings, he merges into the Brahman.



Throughout the Bhagavad Gita, it defines the final goal as "God realization", and that is 'achieving divine perfection':

quote:

Salvation is of two kinds: final liberation from all karma and union with God; and freedom from earthly karma, giving the possibility of living from then on in high astral regions, from which one can work out his astral and causal karma until he reaches final liberation. Salvation from the need for further imprisonment on this material plane is in itself a great blessing, and can be won even without (yet) achieving divine perfection.



And finally, this simple definition of "enlightenment":

quote:

Paramhansa Yogananda explained that the path of spiritual ascent is by awakening the Kundalini. "Fire" means life energy; the fire of yagya, symbolizing the divine energy into which one offers his ego for purification and for ultimate consumption.
"Light" stands for what Jesus Christ, in an equally esoteric passage in the New Testament of the Bible, described as "the light of the body": the spiritual eye, beheld in the forehead.
"Daytime" signifies that period of time when the yogi is divinely awake in the superconsciousness. The "sun" of the spiritual eye shines upon him, bringing what is described in all mystical traditions as enlightnment.



Throughout the Bhagavad Gita, there is much emphasis on the point between the eyebrows (sambhavi). There is even mention of a "baby kriya" practice of directing the breath to that point:

quote:

There is another simple technique, helpful to practice as a preliminary exercise: With mental detachment, watch the breath flowing naturally in the nostrils. A mantra should be uttered with the breathing process: "Hong" as the breath flows in (allowing the flow to occur naturally); and "Sau" as it flows out. Gradually transfer your focus of attention from the feeling of breath in the nostrils to the point, higher up the nose, where it enters the head. This, of course, is also the point midway between the eyebrows.
My Guru told me also to practice, after some time, feeling the energy flowing up and down the spine with the incoming and outgoing breaths - not to control the flow, but to feel it as the subtle cause of the physical breath. This technique is not Kriya Yoga, but my Guru sometimes referred to it as the "baby Kriya".




Kirtanman, I would be very interested to hear, in your words, your experience of realization. I know you attribute it to the AYP lessons, but I feel that it could also be a cumulative response to your previous practices as well. What exactly happened to you? What do you attribute your awakening to? Do you feel like you've arrived? Is your kundalini active?

:)
TI

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Christi

United Kingdom
3644 Posts

Posted - Nov 18 2009 :  05:00:54 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Kirtanman,

quote:
Hi Christi,

Thanks very much for staying with this dialog; you've made some very important points in this post that I very much appreciate.


Likewise.

quote:
Thanks, Christi. I can see how someone could potentially interpret that comment in that way ... and that is absolutely not what I am intending to convey.


It's a good job I brought it up then.

quote:
...
I hope this clears up what I'm saying.



Absolutely, that's a lot clearer, thanks.

quote:
Technically, this may be true ... but I'm not so sure that it's true generally. If you can give any examples of where you feel I'm stating things conceptually, please let me know.

My general intent is always to be as unambiguous as possible.


The point I was making is that all statements are conceptual, because they are not the thing that they describe. This is why advaita teaching can be so problematic, because it revolves so heavily around quite subtle conceptual statements.

quote:
I'm not so sure this is correct.

Reason being: I don't see myself as saying anything different than what Adyashanti, Byron Katie or Eckhart Tolle have said ... and, as far as I know, they haven't precipitated premature kundalini awakenings in anyone.


If I remember rightly we had a case come up here in the forum a while back of someone who had been on a retreat with Adyashanti and was going through major kundalini difficulties as a result.

Over the last 5 years I have been trying to help a friend who has been going through a major premature kundalini awakening. She had an awakening experience of the kind that Adyashanti would call the "non-abiding" variety, after hearing people talk about the oneness of all things. The experience awakened her kundalini before she was ready and now she is living in a state of pretty much constant pain with all the usual kundalini symptoms.

I am not saying that this is a common experience with advaitic practice, but it is a danger that we should be aware of. My experience is that nearly always, advaita teachers don't have any strategy in place for dealing with this scenario, and they just hope that the person will be all right, and will come through the awakening in one piece. It's not the most sophisticated of approaches, and really, I think we can do a lot better these days. In the case of the person who attended the retreat with Adyashanti, if I remember rightly, Yogani was involved in the clean up process.

In the case of my friend, I try my best to help her. In her case it is not easy because she is heavily into the whole advaita "thing". When I suggest to her that she could cut down on her high-end self-inquiry practices and take up some grounding practices until the intense headaches go away she is unimpressed. The reasoning is simple: trying to avoid pain is something that "thinking mind" would want to do. Thinking mind tries to avoid pain and receive pleasure. Undifferentiated awareness is impartial with regards to pain and pleasure. So my advice for her to make some adjustments in her life in order to calm the flames of kundalini is, in effect me telling her to give in to the desires of "thinking mind".

Her advaita teacher, on the other hand, would tell her to be present with the pain, and accept that it is her reality "right now", whilst noticing that she is not the pain but is undifferentiated awareness which is always already free.

So she continues to live in constant pain and put up with the headaches!

I am explaining this to give you an idea of the subtle mess that people can get into with advaitist ideas. On top of this, if anyone criticises anything that her advaita teachers say, it is because they are operating from "thinking mind", just as you suggested to TI above with regards to his critisism of Adyashanti. So the teachers become "beyond criticism".

It can be a dangerous game, if we are not really clear at every stage what is involved and what the pitfalls are. This is why I think Yogani has done such a good job in his self-inquiry book in outlining the difference between relational and non-relational self-inquiry. It is a major step forward in the whole process of integrating advaitic teachings into the process of awakening.

It may sound like I am saying that advaita is pretty much a waste of time, as I have been outlining many of the dangers in this thread. I am not saying that at all. In fact, I see it as a beautiful teaching and tradition, and, apart from pure bhakti, it is probably my favourite practice.

quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Christi
You say that you are not advising anyone to fly who does not have the wings to fly with. What I hear you saying, repeatedly is this: "enlightenment is real; it's wonderful, in a normal and real way; you can actually have it, too; all you have to do is drop all your ideas about it ". I don’t hear any mention of who may be ready to follow this advice safely, and who may not in terms of kundalini.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Once again, I'm saying that by way of encouragement.

Yogani has said the same thing, using slightly different words.

So has every other spiritual teacher who is popular in this forum (Byron Katie, Adyashanti, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Ramana Maharshi, etc.).

I don't recall any, with the possible exception of Yogani, adding in any caveats at all ... and certainly not to the degree you're indicating is needed.


Nearly all the caveats I've suggested are covered by Yogani in the self-inquiry book. The only one he didn't cover there is the danger of direct self-inquiry leading to a premature kundalini awakening. But he has said that when self-inquiry is non-relational, it can lead to headaches, confusion and the mind playing games with the mind.

All the teachers you mention (with the exception of Byron Katie) are advaita teachers, so it is not that surprising that they are passionate about advaita. I was once at a satsang with Amma, when someone asked her if she could talk a bit about advaitic philosophy. In front of about 1000 people she said: "I don't like to talk about advaita, as so many people can so easily get confused with it". So that's the caveat that Amma puts on advaita teachings! A lot more severe than either Yogani, or myself.

I believe that this is the traditional approach to advaita in yogic teaching. Normally a teacher would teach a student spiritual practices. Then, when the teacher believes that a student is ready, in terms of both purification of the body and the level of inner silence (samadhi) present, they would introduce non-dual (advaitic) teachings. In India it is very uncommon to find a teacher that offers advaitic teachings to anyone and everyone who comes along. There are tens of thousands of spiritual teachers in India and I would struggle to think of a handfull who offer pure advaitic teachings without any warnings to anyone who happens to drop in.

quote:
The issue isn't that people will "overload" .... it's that they'll attempt to drop conceptual ideas, and/or be confused about exactly what constitutes conceptual ... and may feel that there is something wrong, per their inability to simply drop attachment to conceptual conditioning.


Absolutely. And another reason to emphasize the importance of practice as a tool for the realization of the true nature of reality. With the emphasis on spiritual practice, the realization of advaita is certain. With the emphasis on advaita, its realization is less certain. This is what I have been trying to say.

quote:
Originally posted by Kirtanman:
I'm pretty sure I've never said *all* you have to do.



quote:
Originally posted by Kirtanman:
.... all we're saying is: enlightenment is real; it's wonderful, in a normal and real way; you can actually have it, too; all you have to do is drop all your ideas about it ... and everything else.





Sorry, couldn’t resist.

quote:
I've said that dropping ideas represents a potentially major benefit, in terms of decreasing one's time to experiencing enlightenment .... in conjunction with, and on top of, proven practices (including inquiry), from the world's proven yogic and mystical traditions.


Yes, to be fair, you do also say that, which I am sure is a great help to many.

quote:
And I hope you are now clear, at least, on what I'm actually saying.


A lot clearer. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Christi
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Kirtanman

USA
1651 Posts

Posted - Nov 18 2009 :  8:25:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit Kirtanman's Homepage  Get a Link to this Reply

Hi Christi,

quote:
Originally posted by Christi

The point I was making is that all statements are conceptual, because they are not the thing that they describe. This is why advaita teaching can be so problematic, because it revolves so heavily around quite subtle conceptual statements.



Ah, "got it" (I'm familiar with this concept ... ) .. it's one of the foundational teachings of Kashmir Shaivism .... "the paths of the denoted {objects} and denoted meanings {words} ... and how the two intextricably interpenetrate (much like energy and matter) ... thus creating the dynamic of unenlightenment (the confusing of the conceptual with actuality).

Or, as A Course In Miracles puts it, both succinctly and poignantly:

"Words are but symbols of symbols, and thus, twice removed from reality."


quote:
Originally posted by Kirtanman
I'm not so sure this is correct.

Reason being: I don't see myself as saying anything different than what Adyashanti, Byron Katie or Eckhart Tolle have said ... and, as far as I know, they haven't precipitated premature kundalini awakenings in anyone.


quote:
Originally posted by Christi
If I remember rightly we had a case come up here in the forum a while back of someone who had been on a retreat with Adyashanti and was going through major kundalini difficulties as a result.

Over the last 5 years I have been trying to help a friend who has been going through a major premature kundalini awakening. She had an awakening experience of the kind that Adyashanti would call the "non-abiding" variety, after hearing people talk about the oneness of all things. The experience awakened her kundalini before she was ready and now she is living in a state of pretty much constant pain with all the usual kundalini symptoms.
**
It may sound like I am saying that advaita is pretty much a waste of time, as I have been outlining many of the dangers in this thread. I am not saying that at all. In fact, I see it as a beautiful teaching and tradition, and, apart from pure bhakti, it is probably my favourite practice.



No problem; understood on all levels ... and in general, agreed.

In fact, I recall Adya saying, when someone asked him why he didn't just "give awakening" ("shaktipat" people into full awakening, as some gurus do, or claim to do).

Adya responded:

"I used to; when I first started teaching. I felt like: "If I can just give someone the experience of awakening .... they'll be all set. After I nearly sent a few people to the funny farm ... and I'm not kidding .... we're talking emergency room visits, in one or two cases ... I stopped doing that, needless to say. Now, I just tell it like it is ... and let people take what they can."

(Which, I understand, Christi, may be a bit at odds with what you were saying. However, I'm conveying what I wrote above, in the spirit of agreement; I hadn't recalled Adya saying this, until now ... and it makes the point that whether via direct energy, or intense inquiry, or whatever the method might be ..... too much, too soon .... can create more problems than solutions, especially in the near-term ... and Adya recognizes that, as well.)

And it also speak to the point: the only reason a teacher like Adya operates that way, is as much as he has the enlightenment and the wisdom to help many people (and has, including me) ..... there's likely no single teacher or approach that has it all "down" ... which is why the work of AYP is really so important.

We're the only "central repository"" for yogic/spiritual information, that's also "tradition independent", that also has input from a wide variety of sources and resources ... and also (quite possibly most importantly) understands the "energy management" side of kundalini/awakening ... both the importance of it, and how to go about it.

I continue to be amazed at the power, importance and efficacy of the self-pacing "limb" of AYP.



In fact, I'll even go as far as to say that enlightenment/significant realization very likely can occur much sooner, because of it .... without it, the upheavals could cause people to be "circling in sadhana" as they do in other systems.

It's almost like the "gunas writ large" in yogic systems:

Some systems are Tamasic (full of inertia) ... they can work, and people do become enlightened, but it takes a loooong time, and progress is slow.

Some systems are Rajasic (full of acceleration) ... both Zen and Advaita can be like this (and both having their roots in non-dual tantric systems, this makes sense).

And a very few are Sattvic (balanced); I see AYP as being like this; Kashmir Shaivism, also.

AYP has its self-pacing, and the balance of group input.

Kashmir Shaivism has the three primary divisions of consciousness (loosely: spirit/awareness, mind, body) ... and yogic practices which are applicable to each level.

The foundation is Anavopaya (Individual Means), and focuses on body practices: pranayama, meditation, mudras, bandhas, tantric sexual practices, chanting .... basically, anything body-related (this is also known as Kriya ... which simply means "action" in Sanskrit, in Kashmir Shaivism, and in other systems).

The next level up is Shaktopaya ... the Empowered Means ... the means of mind; of inquiry. Texts like the Spandakarika and the Vijanabhairava Tantra expand upon the philosophy of the Shiva Sutras with the yogic practices which complement each of the Shiva Sutras' philosophical levels.

The level after that ... the level of supernal/thought-free awareness ... Shambhavopaya (Divine Means) ... is the level of sustaining and living from thought-free awareness as much as possible (and has related practices offered in the Shiva Sutras and its commentaries, and in certain other texts such as the Pratyabhijnahrdayam).

The final level is Anopaya .... "no means" .... post-enlightenment, when practices *as* practices are no longer needed (there's nothing to gain for oneself; the path of yoga is complete ... the Yoga Sutras, and most advaitic texts have their analog to this, as well ... a "completion level").

The reason for going into all that, is:

As both AYP and Kashmir Shaivism demonstrate ... just because non-duality is ultimately part of a system, doesn't mean the system can't be balanced.

Conversely, if a system doesn't include non-duality, it can't be balanced, either.

And so ... the balanced approach would seem to be:

Offer non-dual, mixed (non-dual/dual, both) and dual (initial body-based practices) information and practices, and let people find their own levels, comfortably.

That's literally the way the Shiva Sutras is structured:

Section I is Divine Means (Highest)

Section II is Empowered Means (Middle)

Section III is Individual Means (Lowest)

Students/practitioners are instructed to start at the beginning (1.1 Caitanyamatma - Self is Liberated Awareness) .... and basically read/study/work with their teacher ... until they find the level they're comfortably at, currently.

The thinking here, unlike with the majority of yogic systems, is that not everyone needs to start with the most basic body-practices, if intuition and/or teacher and/or common sense, say otherwise ... and that those who are "ripe" can have a shorter sadhana.

AYP basically does the same thing ... just starting from the opposite end ... but says: start at the beginning .... and settle in where you recognize you're ready to settle in .... and proceed lesson by lesson, from that point.

It seems to me that AYP and the Shiva Sutras are good examples of "information alone" not being harmful, and good examples of how to integrate both information and practices in ways that are unlikely to precipitate major kundalini-upheavals.

There may always be someone who experiences upheaval anyway, and that's fine, too .... but I agree fully: we're here to do what we can to convey the right encouragement *and* the right cautions, along with the right general information, practices and support .... so that in general, people are likely to experience as rapid and trouble-free a sojourn to awareness of yoga//enlightenment, in their own experiencing.



quote:
Originally posted by Christi
You say that you are not advising anyone to fly who does not have the wings to fly with. What I hear you saying, repeatedly is this: "enlightenment is real; it's wonderful, in a normal and real way; you can actually have it, too; all you have to do is drop all your ideas about it ". I don’t hear any mention of who may be ready to follow this advice safely, and who may not in terms of kundalini.





quote:
Originally posted by Kirtanman

Once again, I'm saying that by way of encouragement.

Yogani has said the same thing, using slightly different words.

So has every other spiritual teacher who is popular in this forum (Byron Katie, Adyashanti, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Ramana Maharshi, etc.).

I don't recall any, with the possible exception of Yogani, adding in any caveats at all ... and certainly not to the degree you're indicating is needed.


quote:
Originally posted by Christi
Nearly all the caveats I've suggested are covered by Yogani in the self-inquiry book. The only one he didn't cover there is the danger of direct self-inquiry leading to a premature kundalini awakening. But he has said that when self-inquiry is non-relational, it can lead to headaches, confusion and the mind playing games with the mind.

All the teachers you mention (with the exception of Byron Katie) are advaita teachers, so it is not that surprising that they are passionate about advaita. I was once at a satsang with Amma, when someone asked her if she could talk a bit about advaitic philosophy. In front of about 1000 people she said: "I don't like to talk about advaita, as so many people can so easily get confused with it". So that's the caveat that Amma puts on advaita teachings! A lot more severe than either Yogani, or myself.

I believe that this is the traditional approach to advaita in yogic teaching. Normally a teacher would teach a student spiritual practices. Then, when the teacher believes that a student is ready, in terms of both purification of the body and the level of inner silence (samadhi) present, they would introduce non-dual (advaitic) teachings. In India it is very uncommon to find a teacher that offers advaitic teachings to anyone and everyone who comes along. There are tens of thousands of spiritual teachers in India and I would struggle to think of a handfull who offer pure advaitic teachings without any warnings to anyone who happens to drop in.



quote:
Originally posted by Kirtanman
The issue isn't that people will "overload" .... it's that they'll attempt to drop conceptual ideas, and/or be confused about exactly what constitutes conceptual ... and may feel that there is something wrong, per their inability to simply drop attachment to conceptual conditioning.



quote:
Originally posted by Christi
Absolutely. And another reason to emphasize the importance of practice as a tool for the realization of the true nature of reality. With the emphasis on spiritual practice, the realization of advaita is certain. With the emphasis on advaita, its realization is less certain. This is what I have been trying to say.



Very nicely put (and important, hence my "bolding" of those two sentences).

I agree wholeheartedly (with the caveat that it's never 100%, either way .... but "close enough to", to emphasize the importance of those words, I'd say).

It was never my intention to convey and "advaita-only" spin; it was never my intention to do anything, other than echo Wayne Wir's words, and say: "Yes, it is possible, everyone! It really is!!"



I had a sense that my statements would be taken along with all I've said, over time, about the importance of practices ... but obviously, you had the concern that might not be the case .... and. I also realize that certain threads/statements, etc. might be "read independently", and this dialog arose naturally ... and so, it's all (quite literally) good!



quote:
Originally posted by Kirtanman:
I'm pretty sure I've never said *all* you have to do.



quote:
Originally posted by Kirtanman:
.... all we're saying is: enlightenment is real; it's wonderful, in a normal and real way; you can actually have it, too; all you have to do is drop all your ideas about it ... and everything else.





quote:
Originally posted by Christi
Sorry, couldn’t resist.



No worries; you know I would've done the same thing!!



(Laughing, here; that's why I said "pretty sure" .... I don't remember much these days, which is primarily awesome .... but "just in case", I included the qualifier ......)



And, ultimately, that (all you have to do is drop all your ideas about it ... and everything else. ) is a true statement, and possibly a useful orientation-point, as in:

"WOW -- *that's* what it's all about?? The dropping of conceptual ideas, from every level of consciousness, including long-term memory? That's what practices are for? Cool .... time for morning meditation!" ... within the greater context of meditation/practices being the means to melt away the mud-encrusted, light-obscuring ice ... which eventual reveals the beautiful, living One Lake (as Kashmir Shaivism calls it) underneath.

As Abhinavagupta says: "He who understands that ice and water are the same shall not be born into another body."

Unenlightenment is living in conceptually frozen "ice only" ... thinking that "enliquidment" is some far off, exotic condition.

Enlightenment is allow the melting of the mud-encrusted ice which came from a lifetime of freezing/thinking, into the beautiful One Lake, flowing ... living ... unbound ... ever-fresh ... by using the heat of practices, combined with the light of awareness and clear attention.



quote:
Originally posted by Kirtanman
I've said that dropping ideas represents a potentially major benefit, in terms of decreasing one's time to experiencing enlightenment .... in conjunction with, and on top of, proven practices (including inquiry), from the world's proven yogic and mystical traditions.


quote:
Originally posted by Christi
Yes, to be fair, you do also say that, which I am sure is a great help to many.



quote:
Originally posted by Kirtanman
And I hope you are now clear, at least, on what I'm actually saying.




quote:
Originally posted by Christi
A lot clearer. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Christi




No worries; same to you; good dialog!!



Wholeheartedly,

Kirtanman
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Kirtanman

USA
1651 Posts

Posted - Nov 18 2009 :  9:01:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit Kirtanman's Homepage  Get a Link to this Reply

Hi TI, Christi & All,


quote:
Originally posted by Christi
What we could say, is that unity consciousness (which Kirtanman and Wayne Wirs are describing) is an initial stage of enlightenment, and that there are further stages beyond that. I referred to this a while ago in another thread as the stages of spiritual unfoldment beyond the realization of advaita.



Christi - could you please re-cap what you mean by this?

I recall you posting about it before, but I don't recall the details, nor am I sure I fully understood the explanation, at the time.



I can't really comment without being a bit more clear on what you're saying, other than to say that, as far as I know/am experiencing, enlightenment (which I'm basically using, as I believe Wayne is, too ... as a term for the permanent shift of identity from the concept-me to concept-free awareness, in ongoing experiencing) is different from "unity consciousness", at least as I've heard the term used, before.

However, as I hope I've made clear: I'm not at all about definitions, here; if you feel that what I described in the paragraph above is what you mean by "unity consciousness" .... then that's as good a term as "enlightenment".

As I'm pretty sure we agree ... it's not about the terminology, it's about clear communication.




quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan_Ice
I agree. However, in advaita the enlightenment part seems to be stuck in the human part. Why didn't Nisargadatta quit smoking?



Because he knew himself to be awareness, and not the body-mind. The body-mind had a habit of smoking. So what?

(I'm both saying this directly, as well as re-articulating Nisargadatta's own view on the matter.)

Ramana Maharshi was asked if being vegetarian was important (remember: he was from South India, where *everyone* is vegetarian) ... and he responded:

"Yes, until the mind is steady; then, it doesn't matter."

That's part of the deal with the enlightenment, I'm discussing, anyway -- there's literally a sense of not being the body-mind, any longer.

It's many vacillations either subside, or continue without attachment.

Either way, there's liberation.

Smoking is as non-dual as anything else.

Another person asked Ramana about his temptation to "commit adultery" with a young neighbor woman.

Ramana replied, "Don't do it. But if you do it, don't think about it ... for you are not the doer."

Which is it in a nutshell.

I knew this, and experienced it intermittently, for quite some time.

In recent times, there's no sense of "doer" whatsoever.

"Kicking around" like a regular person still happens; there's just *zero* sense of the conceptual self-reference which was here before.

The effects would be quite dramatic, except there's truly no one here to find them dramatic.

I used to spend a good deal of every day *thinking*.

No longer; either the thinking doesn't arise, or, if there's any thought/emotional reaction, it's seen as a reaction of the body-mind, and subsides naturally almost instantly ... and has nothing whatsoever to do with me.

A lifetime of agitation, suffering and conceptual rumination has vanished to the tune of exactly 100%.



quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan_Ice
Ken Wilber (not that I give him any more license to write truth than anyone else) does say that the problem with Eckhart Tolle's presence or the 'Now' is that after experiencing it, it is interpreted according the vertical level of the dimension of consciousness that the person/group/religion is at. This kind of rung true for me, since all experience is 'remembered' and 'recalled' through the conditioned/veiled mind.



I agree with this, but would point out:

Wilber's material tends to facilitate the opposite issue, namely: becoming overly concerned/conceptual with what "quadrant" and/or "level" you are "at" at any time.

Wilber says Tolle gives too little definition; Tolle would likely say Wilber gives too much (if he cared enough to comment; I make that statement based on familiarity with Tolle's teaching ... not on any sense of what he might actually say, or not).

In general, I would say that the less ammunition conditioned mind is given to interpret a given set of teachings, the better .... which is probably why I resonate with certain advaitic teachings, as I do.

They articulate reality well, without a host of limited mind-fodder, which often attends other systems and schools (both traditional and modern).

Original awareness is one; conditioned consciousness is its own unique blend of ever-shifting misunderstanding.

And so, laying out accurate information, which can be verified in experience, and/or a simple template (such as Kashmir Shaivism) which outlines how the full spectrum of consciousness/awareness works, and/or a system like AYP, which focuses primarily on mechanics (practices and inquiry) ... are all good ways to go, I'd say (and have experienced/am experiencing).

More complexity tends to cause mind to get lost and confused .... and to think that anything important can come from some other person's information or experiences.

No one else's information or experiences matter at all.

The only enlightenment that matters is the one you experience for yourself.

I hope this is helpful.

Wholeheartedly,

Kirtanman

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Kirtanman

USA
1651 Posts

Posted - Nov 18 2009 :  10:14:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit Kirtanman's Homepage  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi TI,

quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan_Ice

Focusing with perfect discipline on the heart, one understands the nature of consciousness.
**

Once the luminosity and transparency of consciousness have become as distilled as pure awareness, they can reflect the freedom of awareness back to itself.




Thanks for the recap of Section III of the Yoga Sutras.

I asked the question I did, because non-dual Kashmir Shaivism, distilled down to its essence, would essentially say the same thing as the (applicable) "heart sutra", quoted above (hrdaye chittasamvit ~Yoga Sutras 3.35)

A slightly more accurate translation might be:

"The unity of consciousness is known via the heart."

This has nothing to do with the physical heart, but with the "center of this" (hrdayam - heart - from hrd - center, and ayam - this) .... original awareness, without the artificial divisions of subjectivity and objectivity.

And so, you might be able to understand why I took that sutra to be quite complete, in and of itself.

However, I also like the summary statement of the last sutra in section 3 (sattva purusayoh suddhi samye kaivalyam iti ~Yoga Sutras 3.56) ... including the translation.

All the other stuff in section 3 (with the possible exception of the overview of Samyama itself, in the beginning of that section) is somewhat ancillary, in my opinion/experience.

And, as I've said many times: it's really all summed up in the second sutra of section I (called, appropriately enough "Samadhi Pada" - the section on primordial union) ...

yogash chitta-vrtti-nirodhah

("Yoga is the cessation of mind modifications")
~Yoga Sutras 1.2



quote:
Originally posted by Kirtanman
Part of the experiencing of this awareness is a shifting in identity from a limited idea of self, to an unlimited experiencing of, and identification with, the full field of awareness.

Many, including myself, are comfortable calling this "enlightenment".



quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan_Ice
Ok. Let's create a new term. Let's call it enGoddenment. :)



Okay .... I'm not quite sure why, but sure.



(Other than: you seem to be saying that liberation isn't enough, or isn't complete, and that somehow "godlike powers" represent a higher level of enlightenment ... or enGoddenment .... or whatever; is that what you're saying?)

And fine, if so; just trying to be clear on what you're saying, here.



quote:
Originally posted by Kirtanman
I've never known, or heard of any enlightened teacher (or, one who is widely recognized as such, using traditional definitions of the term .... Ramana Maharshi, Swami Lakshmanjoo, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Adyashanti, Yogani, etc.) who would fit your definition of enlightenment, either.




quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan_Ice
I'm so happy you didn't include Jesus in there.. :)



Er, no problem ................ he was the only one without a Sanskrit name ....



But Seriously: with all sincere respect to whatever connection you have with Jesus; he didn't cross my mind, with respect to the context within which I was listing those other teachers.

As opposed to Jesus who would be the only one on your list (?) who you feel you could name for sure? (<- Just asking, here; I'm not sure I completely get what you're saying, regarding Jesus, here.)

Basically, they're (the teachers on my list) all from within the last hundred years, and we have a large volume of their direct words, and a fairly large group of living disciples students who have preserved those direct words, via the written word, audio and video.

There are quite a few enlightened masters from various global traditions I might have mentioned ... but this was a shorter list, comprising enlightened teachers from more recent times, is all.

quote:
Originally posted by Kirtanaman
However, there are definitions of enlightenment given in widely-respected, centuries-old texts (the Shiva Sutras, the Yoga Spandakarika, the Vijnanabhairava Tantra, the Yoga Sutras, etc.), as well as some more modern compilations and teachings (I Am That by Nisargadatta Maharaj, the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, Emptiness Dancing by Adyashanti, the AYP Lessons and AYP Enlightenment Series of books by Yogani) which do match, either exactly, or very closely .... the experiencing of enlightenment being described in this thread.



quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan_Ice
You know, there is an old saying: "Those that can, do, Those that can't, teach". I have read many stories about buddhists who attained the rainbow body and evaporated into light, leaving no trace behind (except memories of those they left behind).



That's a very interesting generalization.

I would say that the teachers I listed "did", or "do", per their teaching enlightenment, from enlightenment.

It doesn't get much more "doing" than that, as far as I know/experience.

quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan_Ice
And who else died and took his body with him?



Dracula!



No?

The Groundhog!

Oh, no ... he doesn't die.

Hm.

You may have stumped me, here .......



Ok ... seriously?

My take on the hair-and-fingernails set, as I've said before (in the Rainbow Body thread, a couple-few months back) is:

It's very easy to write about such things; I'll have more of a sense that this might be a real dynamic, if I ever hear of anyone who has experienced such a thing directly.

In the meantime, though, I would say (with all genuine respect to those who believe in things) ....... that I feel this is all largely misunderstood.

Including (and again: sincere respect for all various beliefs; I'm just offering my sense of it) with respect to Jesus.

My sense of it is:

Resurrection into immortality, including the term "rainbow body" is a metaphor for the very shift of identity recently experienced here:

From identification with physical-mental body-mind, to no identification ... simply living unbound as original awareness, not the body-mind (although the experiencing of the body-mind occurs within it; body-mind feels much more like a sense or limb than a self.)

quote:

Enlightenment isn't about the word "enlightenment"; it's about the reality to which the word points.

And so, if you wish to define enlightenment as you do, that's fine ... but I'm not so sure you'll ever find anyone who matches it.



quote:

How about Jesus?



Dunno.

Some people wrote some stuff about him, several decades after he died (and according to the writings, undied) ...... and I'm not so sure it's a hundred percent accurate (neither am I sure it's not; I neither inherently accept nor reject the traditional/Biblical writings about Jesus).

This is both due to the writings themselves, and the way people understand them.

As far as I know, the only immortal "body" is awareness itself, but if you have the belief that Jesus resurrected with an immortal physical body ... that's fine; I respect all beliefs - though I don't necessarily share them.

The important point, from my perspective is:

Anything that anyone considers about Jesus is a product of mind, and so, subject to interpretation.

Technically, the same is true about the teachers I listed, as well.

The only enlightenment that matters is your own


quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan_Ice
"Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven and all things will be added onto you". Have you ever wondered what "all things" might be?



I used to.

Now I know.

"All things" is the one field of original awareness, and all things, which it contains.

When Self is experienced from this place, there's no sense of the possibility of desire, or of anything that can be added.

I realize there are many different interpretations of those words; I'm just describing how it matches experience here, is all.

"Seek ye first" means (again, in my experience) .... that enlightenment isn't the most important thing .... it's the only important thing.

Take care of it first, and there won't be concern about or desire for anything else.




quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan_Ice
Have you ever read "Autobiography of a Yogi" or "The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita"?



Autobiography: yes, a few times; I'm (prior to AYP) a kriyaban, with Ananda (offshoot of SRF).

"Essence" ... no.


quote:
Originally posted by Kirtanman
There are stories/rumors of those with amazing physical and energetic "siddhis" ... superpowers, if you will.

The Yoga Sutras and the Shiva Sutras both list them under "obstructions", and "obstacles" to realization and enlightenment; not as qualities of enlightenment.

Why?

Because even if one relaxes mind enough to be able to do some of the things you suggest, the manifestation of "actual super powers" brings limited mind roaring back into the picture -- either in the experiencing of the one with the powers (this is quite likely, in fact; it's only limited mind who would seek such powers, in the first place), or in the experiencing of those who experience the powers demonstrated.





quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan_Ice
I agree wholeheartedly. While you are climbing the ladder, there is no use for distractions. But once you arrive at the top, you don't need the ladder anymore.. Once you arrive at the top, you don't need advice either..



Or siddhis.

Life is lived for the good of all; if "siddhis" arise as part of that, they do ... but there's no seeking for them, or for anything else; original awareness is whole.

And, I've never heard of such siddhis actually arising for anyone.

My sense of it, is that Patanjali was outlining those sutras in a twofold way:

1. Concentrate, meditate and connect in samadhi with "quality X" (heart, elephant, etc.) ... and the focus, absorption and union will cause you to experience the true nature of subject-object unity as it begins to arise, and you will know what you need to know as you need to know it, prior to its apparent separation from you (kind of "outside in" from the way most people read section 3 of the Yoga Sutras).

2. Again: he's referring to awareness, and people think he means "physically". I don't know that anyone has ever physically flown through the air .... but awareness sure can. Ditto walking on water, etc.






quote:
Originally posted by Kirtanman
Adyashanti has a great line about omniscience, where he says (basically; I'm paraphrasing just a little ... I heard this live at a satsang, years ago) ...

"People think that when you're enlightened, you know everything. Actually, the opposite is true; I know so much less than I did before I was enlightened, it's not even funny!"




quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan_Ice
Yes, this definately falls short of enGoddenment. When I read that I think to myself "let's redefine enlightenment as something that is easily attainable so more people will believe that it is within their grasp."



Fair enough; it's your term; you're welcome to define it.



I would say:

Awareness is inherently whole.

Omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence refers to the wholeness of awareness, prior to the bit of it conceptual mind perceives itself as being, identifies with objectivity/form only .... and that this is what these terms mean ... not the perception of "infinite superpowers" that thinking mind thinks these terms mean.




quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan_Ice
In there Yogiraj Gurunath Siddhanath states that there are seven levels of kundalini. The first level is where most people are at. The second level is the level of geniuses like Einstein. He says the fifth level is where your body becomes a vessel of light.
Now, this may or may not be true, but I will be researching more about the levels of kundalini in the future. However, there is the component of intelligence in there that Adyashanti, by his statement, has conveniently bypassed thus mitigating the requirement.




"See above."

(He hasn't by-passed it at all; he just means something very different than what you interpreted.)

Basically: thinking mind tends to think of "having knowledge" or "using intelligence".

Original awareness *is* inherently its own liberated knowing-awareness; knowledge is not a separate object.

That's why, immediately after stating that "Self is Liberated Awareness" (Shiva Sutras 1.1), the Shiva Sutras say, and I quote:

"Knowledge is Bondage."
(Shiva Sutras 1.2)

Though knowing is not (bondage).

As in "you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

The truth isn't an object we have; the truth is what we inherently are.

quote:
Originally posted by Kirtanman
There are three basic tiers to consciousness; knowledge is only applicable in the first two (physical and mental), and not the third (spiritual; nirvikalpa; turiya, etc.).




quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan_Ice
This to me is an oversimplification of the levels of consciousness, especially after seeing this link:
http://www.mudrashram.com/GCC2.html



Why do you accept a model like this one that you linked to, yet dismiss one which has helped enlighten people for well over a millenium (the Shiva Sutras)?

quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan_Ice
Have you realized all of these levels of consciousness? Do you have that kind of energy? (I'm not goading you on here, I'm simply asking. I have had kundalini surges that have blown open the top of my head revealing what looked like infinite planes of existence and it only lasted a short while but I couldn't handle it. Mentally, I had to reject it. It was too much for my little brain. I know I'm living in a dream world right now and that is still fine with me, but I do know now that I am deceiving myself. )



Experienced them?

Heck, I'm pretty sure I don't even remotely understand them!



(Example: "Ground state of T5: top of the 12th Plane, the Mahanta or T5 Sat Guru".)

Why do you put so much stock in what George Boyd ("meditation teacher since 1983", and channeller of interestingly-drawn externalized masters {or something similar; I'm not quite sure I get this part, either ....}) has to say about it, as opposed to, say, millenia-old, yogically-proven texts, such as the Shiva Sutras?

And/or the living experience of those who experience and describe enlightenment, such as Yogani, Adyashanti, etc.?

The reason I lead toward the latter, far-simpler model is:

Simplicity, clarity and replicability (every major spiritual system uses it, from AUM in Hinduism/Tantra, to YHVH is Judeo-Christianity ... and has produced enlightenment for millenia, using it).

In it, we have:

Bindu (Turiya, inclusive of the spectrum of the 3 states below)
Spirit (Formless Awareness, Non-Duality)
Mind (Mixed Non-Duality & Duality)
Body (Duality)

I call it the "3-in-1-in-All" model.

It's also exemplified by:

AUM. (Including the dot, or bindu).

AHAM (Kashmir Shaivism; AHM. {AHAM} in Sanskrit - "I").

YHVH (Judaism, Christianity)

... and several other well-known consciousness models ... and includes all that's needed for enlightenment and liberation.



I'm going to have to stop here for now; I may comment on the rest of your comments/questions in another post.

Thanks again for the conversation!

Wholeheartedly,

Kirtanman


Edited by - Kirtanman on Nov 19 2009 8:09:19 PM
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Tibetan_Ice

Canada
758 Posts

Posted - Nov 19 2009 :  12:27:53 AM  Show Profile  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Kirtanman

quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan_Ice
Ok. Let's create a new term. Let's call it enGoddenment. :)



Okay .... I'm not quite sure why, but sure.



(Other than: you seem to be saying that liberation isn't enough, or isn't complete, and that somehow "godlike powers" represent a higher level of enlightenment ... or enGoddenment .... or whatever; is that what you're saying?)

And fine, if so; just trying to be clear on what you're saying, here.




Yes, it isn't enough. If you are liberated (your word), then you should be able to materialize your body into my living room and drink some yogi tea with me. You should be able to transport me to a far away land and be back for dinner. Right?

If we (you and I) are God, why wouldn't we have all the powers? Doesn't mean we would use them, but doesn't 'liberation' mean you have attained perfection in God?

You're trying to sell me on the idea that the neo-advaitists' enlightenment is the same as "perfect union with God", or God realization, or enGoddenment, aren't you? Maybe it's true. I don't know that for sure. How would I know? I certainly don't feel it.

quote:


As opposed to Jesus who would be the only one on your list (?) who you feel you could name for sure? (<- Just asking, here; I'm not sure I completely get what you're saying, regarding Jesus, here.)



Jesus is the only example that I have of one who has attained enGoddenment. I felt that when I met him. Another very powerful being is Max Christensen (Kunlun) and I certainly felt that when I tuned into him (but nothing like Jesus). I don't know if Max is enlightened, but I met on a higher plane and he wouldn't let me into the 'sun and ocean' plane until I was ready.

quote:



My take on the hair-and-fingernails set, as I've said before (in the Rainbow Body thread, a couple-few months back) is:

It's very easy to write about such things; I'll have more of a sense that this might be a real dynamic, if I ever hear of anyone who has experienced such a thing directly.



To me, this sounds like a strange statement coming from you. Aren't you enlightened? Can't you access the Akashic records and find examples for yourself in the blink of an eye? Basically, what I believe you are trying to prove to us is that you are God, you have all these characteristics and powers (which you would never use), yet your mind writes these very human-limited statements that really make me wonder. I'm not being disrespectful here, I hope you realize. It is the same phenomenon I found with Adyashanti. Inconsistencies. I don't understand it. Do you think that they made up the fact that Jesus rose up from the dead? Can't you check it out yourself and let us know? Seriously..

quote:

quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan_Ice
"Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven and all things will be added onto you". Have you ever wondered what "all things" might be?



I used to.

Now I know.

"All things" is the one field of original awareness, and all things, which it contains.



This statement is not very humble in my humble opinion. If you 'know', have all things been added to you? Do you ever seriously take a look at what you are writing? I'm not attacking you here, I'm just pointing out these very simple ideas that pop into my head when I read some of things you write. I'm sure others are getting the same impression.

quote:


quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan_Ice
I agree wholeheartedly. While you are climbing the ladder, there is no use for distractions. But once you arrive at the top, you don't need the ladder anymore.. Once you arrive at the top, you don't need advice either..



Or siddhis.

Life is lived for the good of all; if "siddhis" arise as part of that, they do ... but there's no seeking for them, or for anything else; original awareness is whole.

And, I've never heard of such siddhis actually arising for anyone.



Who are you trying to convince here? Me or you? It is one thing to have a clever argument that prevents the display of siddhis, but it is another thing to possess those siddhis and hide them or pay them no notice. I think the latter would project more of an attitude of confidence, not denial, would it not? Caution is always advisable. The biggest siddhi the world has seen so far is the atomic bomb, and look at how many people that killed..

Again, I guess you don't access the Akashic records, have never taken part in any healings, have never seen great distances from the heart.. etc.. Is that what you are saying? I have and I'm not even enlightened.

quote:

I would say:

Awareness is inherently whole.

Omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence refers to the wholeness of awareness, prior to the bit of it conceptual mind perceives itself as being, identifies with objectivity/form only .... and that this is what these terms mean ... not the perception of "infinite superpowers" that thinking mind thinks these terms mean.



Are you denying the existence of miracles and superpowers? Why wouldn't superpowers exist, espescially since all form is created from the 'wholeness of awaress'? Have you no control when you are in a state of 'wholeness of awareness'? Have you never seen that thought is created from the divine and filters down into manifestation and manifests to the degree of energy it was given? Control the root, control the form. Isn't that the formula?

quote:

Why do you accept a model like this one that you linked to, yet dismiss one which has helped enlighten people for well over a millenium (the Shiva Sutras)?



I've never read the Shiva Sutras. Sorry. Maybe I should. :) Further, you keep putting words in my mouth and seem to be coloring me in shades that I am not, nor did I realize that perhaps others were perceiving me like that. Just because I quote a source doesn't mean I accept it. I merely present forms. If there is no truth in them, how would we know unless we had knowledge about those forms?

quote:

Why do you put so much stock in what George Boyd ("meditation teacher since 1983") has to say about it, as opposed to, say, millenia-old, yogically-proven texts, such as the Shiva Sutras?



I've never read the Shiva Sutras. I do not put "so much stock in George A Boyd". I was using his map of consciousness as a way to save typing and identify that there may well be infinite levels of consciousness. During some meditations I've experienced massive images of planes upon planes of existence. I was wondering if you've experienced the same.

quote:


And/or the living experience of those who experience and describe enlightenment, such as Yogani, Adyashanti, etc.?



Here you are grouping Yogani and Adyashanti together and making it seem like I'm opposed to Yogani, or that I'm opposed to Advaita teachings.
Yogani's definition of enlightenment is the mixing of ecsatic conductivity with silence/bliss. I'm not sure what Adyashanti's definition of enlightenment truly is, for his enlightenment experiences seem like psychic experiences to me. But if you compare Adyashanti's meditation practices to Yogani's, I would side with Yogani. I have two of Adyshanti's meditation tapes and they are basically "focus on the breath, listen to the silence, become aware of being aware, become aware of who is becoming aware". Yes, it does sound like Nisargadatta, but even Nisargadatta had various methods, one which was to watch your thoughts. In "I Am That", Nisargadatta varied his teachings based on the level and consciousness-culture of the student. Further, Buddha said that some form of self-inquiry is necessary for awakening.

I have no inclination to play politics. Truth is truth, no matter what the source. How can you judge truth by the source from which it came? However, truth has no contradictions or inconsistencies.

Part of being enlightened is the ability to perceive and represent many points of view and reveal the hidden truth of each of those points of view.

Now please don't hate me. The tone in this post is becoming somewhat disconcerting as I do not want to argue, nor do I want be at odds with you or offend you. The novelty of talking to an 'enlightened' person has not worn off and surely an 'enlightened' person has the detachment and presence of mind to deal with my mild challenges. And, I'd still like to ask you some questions, like, do you practice Adyshanti's methods or AYP's or have you quit practicing?

Again, thank you for the very stimulating conversation. :)

:)
TI

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CarsonZi

Canada
3189 Posts

Posted - Nov 19 2009 :  2:09:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit CarsonZi's Homepage  Get a Link to this Reply
Namaste TI and All.....

quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan_Ice

truth has no contradictions or inconsistencies.



I disagree 100%. (not that it matters 1 iota)

In my experience all of the "deep" Truths, the ones that seem "Absolute", are Paradoxes.....meaning they are DIRECT CONTRADICTIONS of themselves.

Just my experience though....

Now back to the ether

Love,
Carson

Edited by - CarsonZi on Nov 19 2009 2:09:53 PM
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