A brief moment...

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by Edwin, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    I had an experience last night.

    Nothing big, nothing special, but enough to, at least for a few seconds, scare the heck out of me.

    I had been meditating ( without LifeFlow ) for roughly an hour. After that, I turned to the book by Paul Wilson, "the Quiet" ( this time with LifeFlow ). Actually this is 2 books, the first book is basically about the different meditation techniques in the world, stripped from religion or beliefts, just the techniques, the second book is all about enlightenment and ways to get there.

    As I have allready chosen a way of meditation that I enjoy, book 2 is the most interesting for me.
    Through a series of techniques, my now relaxed mind was thrown in the deep to try and grasp what cannot be grasped.
    Questions like:

    -Who am I
    -What is "I" anyway: Body, mind, soul ? Or something even deeper ?

    Of course these questions are meant as something like a roadsign towards the "endgoal", "enlightenment".

    After doing these exercises for about an hour, I decided it was time to go to bed. I could somehow feel what the book was about, but not understand it. The book says, and most "enlightened masters" say just about the same, that it is impossible for the mind to understand. As soon as you have this insight, the mind numbs and goes quiet.

    The last chapter of the book says that a moment of insight might come today, in a year, or in 20 years, but the moment will come, as soon as you stop looking for enlightenment.

    Crap.

    Why do all spiritual "masters" have to be such a tease ? :p

    So, I went upstairs. While brushing my teeth, I suddenly understood the duality of wanting to "reach" enlightenment.
    We only live in this constantly changing and moving moment called "Now".
    Since you can't predict when the insight will come, it can only come when the future turns into now. But we can't predict the future, we can only accept what is happening Now.
    I let go of my wanting to reach enlightenment. It wasn't going to happen, because it can only happen Now, and at that moment, the Now was absolutely enlightenment-free. My mind was racing, feelings were tumbling over each other, I was very busy. I felt a mix of relief and disappointment, glad not having to search for enlightenment anymore, but sad it wasn't going to happen.

    As I was slowly warming up my bed with my body ( its freezing in Holland ) I thought back at what the book said about the concept of "I".
    It's like peeling back the layers of an union, you slowly turn deeper inwards.
    The concept itself is that when you are looking at who I am, it can't be you if you can be aware of it. It is like a camera, it can't take a picture of itself, only it's surroundings. Thus, that part of us that is "aware" has to be "blind" to itself. If you can "see" it, it's not you.

    After that, you start peeling back the layers of the union.
    You start with your body:

    -I am aware of my body, the feelings and sensations of it.
    So, my body can't be "me".

    -I can observe my senses like sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, so that isn't "me" either.

    -During meditation I have frequently been aware of my thoughts, so that can't be "me". In fact, I have been able to bring them to rest several times, and I didn't cease to exist.

    -Along with the mind, the emotions that usually race through me, can be observed as well ! Sometimes they creep up on me, take me over as does the mind, but when I observe them, they too stop. So my emotions can't be "me".

    -According to my beliefs, I have a soul. It was the way I was raised.
    But would I be able to be aware of my soul ?

    During meditation, I could not feel a "me" when the thoughts and emotions became silent. However last night, lying in my bed, I tried to picture my soul, and as soon as I had an image of my soul, I became aware of it. :eek: My soul isn't me either ?
    As soon as I became aware of my soul, I could feel that my soul seemed to be "basking in light", don't know how to describe it differently. It felt like the very source of Life, of existance somehow. But where was it coming from ?
    Suddenly I remembered that our concept of matter is an illusion, that our body's are made of atoms, and that atoms in itself are space, with a core that might even be nothing according to scientists. I could suddenly feel that source of life, that power shine it's "light" through the space inside the atoms of my body, and my entire body started to feel warm and tingly. This sensation was so strong, that it scared me for a few seconds. Then I remembered that what I was feeling was nothing to be scared about, it was always there, I just didn't notice it before. The feeling seemed to deepen, and I was aware that my thoughts and emotions seemed to stop by themself. I felt warm and comfortable, happy and light. Suddenly I realised that the same energy was flowing through my blankets, my matras, the house, the earth it stood on, and it's vibration was aligned with the speed of time. It became clear what the "Power of Now" really meant, even tho it can't be explained now.
    It was an increadible experience and I piecefully fell asleep.

    This morning I woke up without all that :(. It must have been what Zen calls "Kensho":
    Source Wikipedia:
    I tried to bring the feeling back, by focusing on my breathing, bring peace back, but it didn't work this morning.

    It feels like a once in a lifetime experience, and maybe it was. I might never experience this feeling again.

    However I have finally seen a glimpse of what lies beneath my thoughts and emotions... Could it be possible that I will experience this again ?

    Who knows...

    Has anyone else had a brief moment like this or maybe completely different but equally inspiring ?
     
  2. filly33

    filly33 Member

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    Look back at what you've said here. You gave up the looking, the wanting and trying to get to a point you had not experienced yet, and what happened, you experienced something that yes, I have experienced before (I listened to my favourite band and had the time of my life) though it was a very short glimpse. Anyways, It seems to me that you are only hammering the point that there is no future to enlightenment. Many things are needed to accept that truth, and slowly they are peeled away. You say that you tried to get that feeling back in the morning and so long as you try, it will never come, I'll be the first to remind you of that truth and I hope you will always point me in the right direction (though, you have, since I've met you, and I thank you for that).

    I've seen in the past couple weeks that Eckhart was not lying when he said living was easy. It's accepting the life that was given to you that is hard.

    Anyways, I hope this helps and I didn't come across harsh at all. Good luck.

    Mitch
     
  3. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    ;)

    thanks for the kick in the behind, I needed that :D

    You are so right !

    I will try to simply meditate tonight and see what happens... Maybe the small breakthrough yesterday evening will speed up the process
     
  4. filly33

    filly33 Member

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    I'm so jealous. I've never experienced anything quite like what you described, just small moments. It reminds me of the start of "The Power Of Now" when Eckhart describes how he lost his ego and then fell into a deep sleep.

    I think a lot of the time we forget the basic things we've learned because once we've accomplished what we set out to do we feel the need to move on or to get better at it. I think that to do this we need to take a step back and look at what is right in front of us, not past us or behind us. You've definitely accomplished something here. Keep on posting, I'm interested in what happens.

    I still haven't given up the wanting and I applaud you for doing it. It was probably a very hard realization. This is such a strange journey eh. Every time I get close I fall behind again. I wish you all the luck.

    By the way, new name change. Check it out.

    Mitch
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
  5. Montana Keith

    Montana Keith Member

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    Thanks so much for sharing!

    Edwin, my friend, thank you so much for sharing your experience here. The profundity of your words remind me of an excerpt I read and recorded from Thomas Merton’s book New Seeds of Contemplation. In case you are unfamiliar with Thomas Merton, he was a Trappist monk who lived from 1915 to 1968. Shortly before his accidental death in 1968, Thomas Merton met with his Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama said later that he never realized Christians were spiritual until he met Merton. Here was a Christian monk completely unlike any Christian the Dalai Lama had ever met before. He found openness in Merton rarely seen in other Christians.

    “The deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion . . . It is beyond words . . .
    We are already one.”


    Thomas Merton

    Here is the excerpt that reminds me of what you wrote. Take care. -Keith :)

    . . . Our reality, our true self, is hidden in what appears to us to be nothingness and void. What we are not seems to be real, what we are seems to be unreal. We can rise above this unreality, and recover our hidden identity. And that is why the way to reality is the way of humility which brings us to reject the illusory self and accept the "empty" self that is "nothing" in our eyes and in the eyes of men, but is our true reality in the eyes of God: for this reality is "in God" and "with Him" and belongs entirely to Him. Yet of course it is ontologically (relating to or based upon being or existence) distinct from Him, and in no sense part of the divine nature or absorbed in that nature.

    This inmost self is beyond the kind of experience which says "I want, " "I love," "I know," "I feel." It has its own way of knowing, loving and experiencing which is a divine way and not a human one, a way of identity, of union, of "espousal," in which there is no longer a separate psychological individuality drawing all good and all truth toward itself, and thus loving and knowing for itself. Lover and Beloved are "one spirit."

    Therefore, as long as we experience ourselves in prayer as an "I" standing on the threshold of the abyss of purity and emptiness that is God, waiting to "receive something" from Him, we are still far from the most intimate and secret unitive knowledge that is pure contemplation.

    From our side of the threshold this darkness, this emptiness, look deep and vast—and exciting. There is nothing we can do about entering it. We cannot force our way over the edge, although there is no barrier.

    But the reason is perhaps there is also no abyss.

    There you remain, somehow feeling that the next step will be a plunge and you will find yourself flying in interstellar space.

    When the next step comes, you do not take the step, you don not know the transition, you do not fall into anything. You do not go anywhere, and so you do not know the way by which you got there or the way by which you come back afterward. You are certainly not lost. You do not fly. There is no space, or there is all space: it makes no difference.

    The next step is not a step.

    You are not transported from one degree to another.

    What happens is that the separate entity that is you apparently disappears and nothing seems to be left but a pure freedom indistinguishable from infinite Freedom, love identified with Love. Not two loves, one waiting for the other, striving for the other, seeking for the other, but Love Loving in Freedom.

    Would you call this experience? I think you might say that this only becomes an experience in a man’s memory. Otherwise it seems wrong even to speak of it as something that happens. Because things that happen have to happen to some subject, and experiences have to be experienced by someone. But here the subject of any divided or limited or creature experience seems to have vanished. You are not you, you are fruition. If you like, you do not have an experience, you become Experience: but that is entirely different, because you no longer exist in such a way that you can reflect on yourself or see yourself having an experience, or judge what is going on, if it can be said that something is going on that is not eternal and unchanging and an activity so tremendous that it is infinitely still.

    And here all adjectives fall to pieces. Words become stupid. Everything you say is misleading—unless you list every possible experience and say: “That is not what it is.” “That is no what I am talking about.”

    Metaphor has now become hopeless altogether. Talk about “darkness” if you must: but the thought of darkness is already too dense and coarse. Anyway, it is no longer darkness. You can speak of “emptiness” but that makes you think of floating around in space: and this is nothing spatial.

    What it is, is freedom. It is perfect love. It is pure renunciation. It is the fruition of God. (New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton, pp. 287-290)
     
  6. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Thanks :) Keith, that was special !

    As wonderfull as the experience was, I won't call it enlightenment.
    It might have been a hint in the right direction, but no more.

    I wouldn't know if enlightenment feels better, or the same, or even less.

    I am somehow sure that there is something more to it than what I experienced yesterday. I am definately not "there" yet.
     
  7. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    There are similarity's but when he woke up he was enlightened, I was depressed ;)
    Somehow it feels as if I have to look for a new experience rather than the same. What I learned in that brief moment yesterday evening is that nothing is ever the same, ever. I can never copy yesterday because I am in the Now. I knew this with my mind, but now I can "feel" it as well somehow. actually, I am not so sure it is gone now... :eek: this is weird !
    I wanted to break through yesterday evening. I had meditated for an hour, and spent another whole hour on exercises and trying to get insights with lot of effort. Basically, I was fed up with it, and the wanting to reach it so badly made me actually feel a bit relieved that I didn't have to search anymore. The thought gave me enlightenment.
    I think the trick also was to keep the mind busy with the road to enlightenment for an hour. I had my mind working for me instead of the other way around. Sure, it was busy, but not with "useless" thoughts. I used my mind as a way to go further. Just like an enlightened person will do. Use the mind instead of allowing the mind to use you.

    Or maybe the moon was aligned just right :p or it was something I ate !

    Like the name btw ;)
     
  8. Bhavya

    Bhavya Member

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    Hi Edwin
    Your experience was a little bit similar to one that I had. I'm going out on a limb here to try and explain it though it's really hard to describe!

    I'd been listening to Mooji on utube and some DVDs so was pretty saturated with the energy of Self Inquiry. Then I meditated, and for the first time decided to recline so that my head and neck were supported and more relaxed than usual, listening to LF 7 on the stereo and using the same technique as you described- asking "Who am I" etc.

    Then, it started to become so clear. Like focusing a lens and really seeing. No I wasn't the body. Experiencing that. And I wasn't the mind. I was awareness, attending to these phenomena. The energy was really getting strong and I could have rested in that but something was pulling me to continue...so I was inquiring, Is there a me? I could feel my heart center absolutely radiant, warm....words are so inadequate!...pouring out warmth, like the sun and I was pure love...but was still observing so I'm not that either...having that but not that. Going on from there: no form, no location, no boundary - only out and out, into the infinitude... indescribable, having no qualities just boundless space, pure energy that was somehow pregnant with possibility but unborn...

    That energy stayed with me all evening. Better than anything I'd ever experienced. I was really high, unlike any other high I'd ever had. And like you, it went away - the experience ended, ephemeral, and I was back, identified with conditioned existence.... yet leaving a certainty that I'd had a glimpse of Truth and that I am already That. I trust that more detachment from mind will come leading me more and more into the experiencing. I don't think there's anywhere to go. We're already there but still too focused on the pull of life in the body.

    I didn't get the glimpse like you had into the energy inside all the forms - the bed, the house the earth. Somehow I just shot out into space. Must be the astronaut in me :p It's curious how it must be the same Truth for all of us, but coming through our individuality we get differences. But it's all pretty tastey.

    So grateful for you and everyone else here, sharing insights and experiences...grateful for Michael for creating these tracks, putting all of it together...grateful for all the spiritual teachers I 've known who have modeled Truth. And thankful for the Force that's calling all of us Home to rest in Who we really Are!

    Bhavya
     
  9. Montana Keith

    Montana Keith Member

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    Thank you

    Bhavya,
    Thank you so much for taking time and sharing your experience here. Over the last few months that I've become acquainted with you through this forum, I've noticed and benefitted greatly from your insights and the kindness and respect you extend. You have made and continue to make a positive difference in my life. Thank you.

    The experience you related remind me of an experience I had a couple of years ago. Here is the experience and a poem that it inspired. Take care. --Keith :)

    Sunday, October 30, 2005: These last few weeks, I have been moving and shifting a lot of “personal stuff.” I have had some amazing breakthroughs which have helped me to understand myself and others better. As I was driving to work Friday morning, October 28th, I had a transcendent experience. As such it is difficult to find words which adequately describe what I experienced. Anyway, as I was driving south on 200 East in Lindon and just before I dropped down into that coulee where those small deer are fenced in, I experienced a dramatic shift in perspective. For a brief moment it was as though a veil had been lifted. Everything appeared brighter and more real. Because the physical sun was not fully up yet, the morning light was still muted and gray. However, a spiritual light suddenly broke through. I remember seeing the yellow leaves of the cottonwoods to my right growing an even brighter and more distinct yellow. I looked to my left and saw the Wasatch Mountains. They suddenly became more bright and real than I’d ever seen before. The experience was so strong I started crying; it was so beautiful and joyful that I just started laughing. I had finally gotten “it.” And “it” was so simple, I wondered why I hadn’t realized it before. For a brief moment I had a glimpse of eternity, and I was home—home at last.



    "A Psalm"
    (Written by Keith Jensen on Sunday, October 30, 2005, at 0800 AM while sitting on the green couch in the family room of our home in Lindon, Utah)

    And the music plays rich and sweet and deep.
    Light shines brightly, purely, beautifully.
    From a fountain of shining water, I drink deep.
    For a moment, I see a glimpse of eternity.

    I dance and laugh and sing.
    For a brief moment, I remember.
    Like bright silver bells, the truth rings.
    I laugh and cry and remember.

    From a sleep, I begin to awake.
    Everything looks the same and yet more real than before.
    It is so beautiful—almost more than I can take.
    A window replaces a once closed door.

    Fear is burned away by the bright light of love.
    I feel a connection with everything and everyone.
    God’s love descends peacefully like a dove.
    I remember hearing the words, “It is done.”

    In this moment, I’m home—truly home at last.
    And I want to stay—Oh, how I want to stay
    To never go out again and feel all alone as in the past.
    Oh God, please help me to not forget this moment I pray.

    Help me remember and connect with your love each day.
    Through silence may I learn to hear the music clearly,
    And may colors bright and alive replace somber gray.
    As I am loved, may I love purely and joyfully.
     
  10. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    It sounds so much like my own experience Bhavya !
    The "realisation" that everything had the same "light of God" flowing through it was because at that moment I felt and was aware of that light going through my body. As I started noticing all these wonderfull sensations at the same time, a small itch on my toe, wonderfull, my hands seemingly glowing with heat as if they are little stoves,also wonderfull, I also became aware of the blanket covering my body, slightly touching my chin. Suddenly the blanket was a part of me, not seperate, I have no idea how to describe it...

    Keith, Holland has beautifull places, but I think I would be so gratefull to live in your inspiring surroundings. How can one not have an experience like yours in your country ! Would you consider organising retreats from your home ;) ?

    Thank you both so much for sharing !
     
  11. Montana Keith

    Montana Keith Member

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    A Project Meditation Retreat

    Hey Edwin,
    I hope today has been a good one for you. I have not yet been to Europe, but I'd love to visit. I sure enjoy and benefit from reading your posts on this forum. Thank you for all your kind care and dedication in making this forum such a good place to visit.

    I am grateful for how technology makes it possible for us to meet in cyperspace. And, I think it would really be neat for us to plan and organize a retreat for Project Mediation members to meet in person. Following the guidance from the "Law of Attraction" and Darren's "Realization System," it is my understanding that this process works best if we allow the universe to take care of the "how" this will come about. We just need to be really clear on the "what".

    I'm just planting a "seed of possibility" for a Project Meditation Retreat to occur within the next five years. What do you think of the idea? Later. --Keith :)
     
  12. filly33

    filly33 Member

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    Ahhh I found a fault during my meditation today!! It was a hard hitting realization that I've been told many times before. I somehow always forget.

    I got one of those amazing feelings today, kinda like a entire body fullness, but like as if I was filled with helium and was somehow floating in my own skin, and it felt great. Then it went away, like it always does, and that kinda sucked. That's when I realized that it was being replaced with a new feeling, not exactly a worse feeling, but my ego told me it was worse and I believed it! The only reason I thought it was worse was because my ego told me so! But it's not TRUTH, is a belief of truth, like societies belief of right and wrong, and I believed it. I keep forgetting that it's just one opinion.

    Mitch
     
  13. Maitreya

    Maitreya Member

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    Freedom.

    I've not been on the forum for quite a while now, which is a shame as it is always so inspiring to read from any small excerpt of experience. It is so lovely to see people joyous and excited, completely not wayward in their sights.

    So awing to see when people can free themselves of desire—of wanting—and simply be content to exist. It is saddening when it doesn't last.

    I don't know if it might inspire envy, as I certainly hope not, but though the feeling is fleeting, I get it after every time I meditate deeply; particularly metta bhavana meditations.

    When I come out of it, I feel almost overwhelmed....Not with emotion, it really is difficult to explain....But definitely with a feeling. I feel unimportant and I feel empty; but somehow that's a good feeling. I have this surge of actual understanding, that I am not my body, and I am not separate or different from anyone else. Now, granted, for the layperson this is hardly good news, but that is simple misunderstanding.

    But above all, I feel love. However, I am not good at expressing myself through lecture, so I can only express it as the thoughts run through my head:

    "Love, tremendous love, wholesome and sweet, empty and bitter, everything and nothing, beautiful and unappealing, desirable and undesired, laughing and staring, caring and apathetic. Love who reads my eyes and sees their tears, but does not wipe them for they are not emotion, which I cannot feel.

    "But there's a thought: Why can't I feel? Why can I hear yelling and smile?—not happiness, but admiration. Twenty minutes ago would this body not have slammed something to demand silence? Why do I not want silence, and for that matter, anything else?"


    In all honesty, whenever I come out of a metta bhavana meditation session, I am always weeping in bliss and love. For hours I am untouchable, asking myself those questions, wondering if this is what it means to be free.

    And afterward I think only, "Where would I be, and how would I feel, and how much longer would I feel it.....if that session had lasted hours, and not twelve minutes?"


    And though I am not aware of that tingly feeling now, having been down-and-out in the philosophical department lately, it gives me great satisfaction to know that I've glimpsed freedom. And that's what enlightenment is, freedom.


    I hope what I said is both relevant and sensible, if not helpful. I would not be above saying I want it to be helpful, because I am not free. No, no, the gaoler brings me new chains whene'er my leash breaks. However I can tell you there is nothing wrong with wanting, initially.

    For though awakening is being free of desire, Buddha himself would not have awakened without a motivation for trying. A time-honored truth of achievement. :)

    —Scott.
     
  14. chris063

    chris063 Member

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    It is so inspiring to read about all the amazing experiences so many people are having!

    I experienced a really 'magic' moment myself this morning. I was on my way back to my car after taking my youngest to school, doing my gratitude exercise - this is often a rare moment that I truly have to myself so perfect for this :) It was foggy, with a pale white sun just visible in the sky. All of a sudden I became aware that the space around me, the air, wasn't empty, which is how I usually see it. It felt full of something, something very magical, it felt like it was the same as me, only outside me and I was looking at it. I really felt that I was looking directly at the loving energy which is all around and in all things. I felt incredibly peaceful, it was so lovely. Such a feeling that all is well and that we really are existing within an ocean of love and sheer magic.
     
  15. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    that is beautifull Maitreya and Chris !

    It is strange how it feels familiar when you talk about it, while in fact they are different experiences than mine, yet they are not !
    I mean, different time, place and person, different feelings, different experiences, yet I know exactly what you are talking about.

    I feel like such a weirdo saying this :D
     
  16. Bhavya

    Bhavya Member

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    I agree with Chris. These experiences are so inspiring. Many many thanks to all of you for these sharings...they're uplifting, informative, and heart warming. And thanks for your kind words, Keith.

    As for wanting more, I too think it's ok within the context of accepting what is, now. We have to choose how to act, one way over another. It's answering the call, making some effort. But of course there is a danger of being attached to these 'experiences'. :rolleyes: It's natural, but surely that's part of our path, surrendering to what is with humility and balance of mind. ;)

    A Question: Could the LOA be used with spiritual aspirations (as in enlightenment, or dropping the identifying with the ego?) Is there a meeting ground somehow? Can we attract the 'having oneness' or is 'being' too different from 'having'? :rolleyes:

    From another weirdo :D
    Bhavya
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  17. Maitreya

    Maitreya Member

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    Loa

    The way I see it, the Law of Attraction really has nothing to do with possessing, so much as doing. After all, it's not a "Law of Physics" that came into being only after animals began developing egos and actual desires that sat beyond needs.

    And considering, you don't need to want something for the LOA to function properly. If I recall something I learned correctly, actively wanting it would actually hinder the LOA in its process.

    But I suppose I already expressed my opinion that it's not bad to want something, especially if that thing is enlightenment. It sets you down the path, and eventually you stop having desires.

    I actually remember a story about a Zen master and his student. The student says he wants to achieve enlightenment, more than anything—so the Zen master plunges the student's head into the nearby pond and holds it under for minutes while the student thrashes and tries to escape for breath. When the master finally relents, and the student can breath, the Zen master asks him, "Tell me, while you were under the water, what is it you wanted most?"

    "To breathe," the student replies. So the Zen master replies: "When you want enlightenment that much, it will come."


    Now, I don't see this story as a moral that DESIRING will bring you enlightenment. Rather, I view it as telling somebody that when all he thinks about is enlightenment, and nothing else—as a person will think only of breathing when he is deprived of breath—that's when it will come.

    And that to me is how the Law of Attraction works. It has always taken my foremost thoughts and translated them as my needs. So if your foremost thoughts are, "Who Am I?" and "What Is The World?" and "Why Is There Suffering?", with enough time thinking mostly of those question, your path to enlightenment is set, and with enough time thinking only of those questions, enlightenment will come.

    At least that's how I view it, from my experience.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  18. chris063

    chris063 Member

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    wierdos together

    I agree, my feeling is that if you think uplifting and spiritual thoughts, that is what you will attract into your experience, which will in turn lift you further spiritually. I sometimes offer gratitude simply for the magic of the Universe, the feeling I get in return is amazing, like I really can feel the magic. And then I am propelled upwards for as long as I feel connected to the magic....it is becoming second nature to me now because it just makes me feel so good and relaxed about everything. I am convinced it was that which triggered the lovely experience I had this morning :)
     
  19. Montana Keith

    Montana Keith Member

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    Beautiful, Just Beautiful

    Dear Edwin, Bhavya, Maitreya, & Chris,

    I have been reading your postings on this thread this afternoon. Thank you for sharing these beautiful, as Darren calls them, "enbrightening" experiences.

    For some reason I have a real affinity for the time period of the 1900's and 1910's. A couple of years back when my family and I went to Walt Disney World, my son and I saw an exhibit called "The Carousel of Progress." When they showed the part for the 1900's it felt really familiar to me. Strange, huh?

    Anyway, a few years back I discovered a wonderful story called "Big Music" by Margaret Prescott Montague (1878-1955). The story resonated with me so deeply that I wanted to find out more about the author. I discovered that at the start of the 20th century she was a regular contributor to The Atlantic Monthly. Similar to how this "Project Meditation" forum has become a place for us to meet, this magazine served the same purpose for readers nearly 100 years ago. In my research I discovered an obscure booklet entitled "Twenty Minutes of Reality." The experiences detailed there are so similar to the ones you are sharing on this thread.

    Note. If you'd like to read "Big Music" or "Twenty Minutes of Reality," I have posted them both on my blog at: Contemplative Remembrance

    In the meantime, here is one of my favorite essays from "Twenty Minutes of Reality." I hope you enjoy it. Take care. --Keith :)

    III
    “The Permanent Ecstatic”

    What is wrong with my psychology? Why does one very gifted person, with a pen to express what he feels, receive as a vision the psychic experience of joy and the inner conviction that Good is at the bottom of everything which another very ungifted person, with no power of self-expression, has felt with more or less intensity — generally more — ever since her first conscious awakening of thought; but which, until she read "Twenty Minutes of Reality," she always regarded as merely the normal mental attitude of the normal human being?

    As I read this very beautifully written article I said, "Of course." "Why, naturally," "Of course," at the ending of so many paragraphs that, at last, I found myself gasping in amazement that any living man or woman should have thought an experience of twenty minutes of reality a thing of sufficient import to write about—it almost took my breath away. But I'm glad they did. For I have been imprisoned in egoism. All my life long (I am forty-four years old), from the age of five years when I danced madly around the first Christmas tree I can remember, shouting "Joy, Joy, Joy!" I've known more than twenty minutes of this unveiled naked reality every humdrum day I've lived—and, up to now, I supposed I was just like everybody else, and that everybody else was like me, excepting misanthropes, valetudinarians, Standard Oil magnates, vivisectionists, and kings who, of course, we all know were born blind.


    Note. Misanthrope-a person who hates or distrusts mankind. Valetudinarian-a person of a weak or sickly constitution. Vivisectionist-a person who engages in minute or pitiless examination or criticism.

    I supposed every normal person heard this undertone of Joy—this unseen but always felt Reality of things, beating and throbbing underneath the horrible and sad, underneath even the monotonous and dull (which is worse than the horrible because less impressive and intense).

    I am a very ordinary woman, living a very ordinary life, my days (the bulk of them, at least) given up to housework — tending my furnace, cooking, dusting, washing dishes; but somehow these duties are never really gray; in the heart of them there's always a glow.

    Whenever I tend my furnace I feel a thrill of wonder as I think of the shiny black coal coming out of this miraculous earth, and of the brave, toiling lives of sturdy men that have been spent and sacrificed down in the mines to dig out that very coal so that I can tend my furnace. I really love my coal bin (except when I see it lowering!) for I always feel as though it brought me so close to a big Reality—close to God and close to man. It's like a tremendous link. The Beauty of things I don't find quite so poignant when I'm washing dishes, though there is always a bird warbling in the lilac bush outside my kitchen window or a streak of sunlight on the vines to make me feel the glad wild joy at the heart of life —and did it not sound like too great a silliness, I could truthfully say that I have given way, day after day, to an ecstasy of wonder at the fresh clean water in my dishpan, and have stood, like a gaping idiot, sometimes for several moments, gaping at it as though it were Niagara Falls—and so it is, only a "little less." From the eternal mystery of the stars down to my very dishpan it's all so thrilling, so outside of ourselves, so God- put-together, that there never has been, to me, any "commonplace." The rain pattering on my roof always makes something warm swish around in my heart just as it does when I hear Schumann-Heink; it seems perfectly unescapable, this endless consciousness of Joy and Beauty. As to Eternity it's always made me chuckle. I've always counted on an aeon with Walt Whitman and John Muir, several aeons with Balzac, Dostoievsky, and Burns, the evenings of aeons with The Atlantic, the mornings with Seveik's Violin Finger Exercises, and no charitable organizations anywhere to interfere with the wholesome joy of selfishness and to make one feel elately dutiful and Righteous. Eternity is only fair.
     
  20. WeeHoo

    WeeHoo Member

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    Holy Cow!

    Keith, I'm just sitting here with my mouth hanging open after reading that excerpt you posted. Thanks so much!
     

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