Experiences of LF 9 - LF 1?

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by tango, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. Flavia

    Flavia Member

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    Thank you so much, Ta-Tsu-wa and Edwin.

    Your answers are matter for our thoughts for many years...no, I'm not exagerating...
    it's just that, to put meditation as the still center of our lives, something that may give us an opportunity to be more peaceful and compassionate in this world full of "rage and tempest".
    I'm in LF7, and living a very difficult moment in my family- my niece, a young woman is terminally ill - and I'm surprised at my own tranquility, and how I'm still capable of helping myself, and other members of the family. At least, for the moment... for I don't know what's coming next in terms of suffering of my niece. I hope I can deal with it. And LF is and will be certainly an immense help.
     
  2. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    Flavia

    I sincerely hope what I'm about to write will not be perceived trite or insensitive. I suffered loss some 20 odd years ago under very extreme circumstances. At the time I processed the experiences through in perhaps the worst possible way that could have been chosen. My grief and suffering remained at peak intensity far longer than it ever needed to last. Eventually I learned what I could have done instead and when I applied the principles the healing that had escaped me for several years took place in the space of only a couple of months. If I may, I'd like to share what I learned. It might prove to be of worth to you, your family and maybe even to your niece.

    You're facing two distinct trials. The first is finding the best way to offer comfort to your niece in her illness. What do we do when there doesn't appear to be anything we can do? We want so badly to do something... anything, but search as we might there just doesn't seem to be anything we can really do.

    The fact is, there may not be much you can "do" for a loved one who suffers, especially from a condition such as your niece has. It is unlikely you can cure her body of the sickness or even quell symptoms of the sickness such as pain, nausea, or all the other things she is experiencing. If you beat yourself up because you cannot discover anything to do for her, it will not ease her suffering and it will add to your own. Some illnesses and conditions have no cure. But every condition can be healed.

    Frank Foolscrow said that. He was a Lakota holy man; perhaps the most widely known and honored holy man in all the nations of North American Native Americans. His ability to bring people back to health was astounding. He would often succeed where all of western medical science failed. But there were instances in which he admitted that the body could not be brought back to health as we understand it. There was no cure. But healing, he said, is something that takes place within. When we are healed we experience genuine peace with our circumstances. There may still be pain and other physical symptoms but a person can literally be at peace with these even as they are experiencing them.

    D.T. Suzuki, a great Zen master and prolific writer died of cancer. As he neared the end of his life he addressed his students about what was to come. He said to them [my paraphrase], "Some of you will see me experience pain and suffering. Don't be concerned with that. That's just Suffering Buddha. Nothing to be afraid of." Suzuki understood that fear was the real danger, not the pain. Pain is pain and we humans have an amazing capacity for experiencing and dealing with it. But pain we are terrified to experience is pain magnified a thousand times. Healing comes when our pain and suffering no longer has us in fear of it.

    Perhaps there is nothing you can do to banish the pain of your niece. But there is something you can do to help banish the fear of it and bring healing to her inwardly and that is simply to be fully present with her. That's actually not right. Being present isn't really something you "do", it's something you "are". Be present with her and with yourself while you are around her. The peace this brings to you inside will spill over to your niece just by your being near. In that way the fears she might be experiencing surrounding her illness may be lessened and as soon as the fear begins to subside the pain also becomes more manageable. Just be present with her.

    The second issue you and others of your family face is in how to deal with loss. Yours is the potential loss of life of a family member but it could be significant loss of anything; a job, a home, a relationship. The greatest mistake I made was in thinking to myself, "I could accept this loss if only I could understand how and why it came to be."

    That's the hallmark of tragedy; it did not have to turn out the way it did. Perhaps it should not have turned out the way it did. But it happened the way it happened, all the "could haves" and "should haves" notwithstanding. It seems normal that we want to come to some understanding of the how and why of things, and in our ordinary way of thinking once we understand the how and why of it we think we can accept the outcome better. Perhaps that is true in the purely mechanical, physical realm.

    But tragic loss, despite what it seems on the surface, is less a physical happening and more an emotional one. Those normal rules of piecing things together so that they make sense before we can accept the outcome doesn't work in the world of emotions. What I learned is that exactly the opposite is true. When confronted with tragic loss you first have to accept what has happened. Only then will you be in an emotional position to understand the how and why of it. It sounds counter intuitive but it is nonetheless true.

    I spent years trying unsuccessfully to understand the how and why of my losses and suffering intensely. Once I understood I was working backwards and turned it around, and I accepted the loss completely, in very short order the intense emotional pain I felt began to fade. And as it faded my emotional mind cleared and suddenly I started to understand the how and why of things. The odd thing was that at the point where I could make sense of it, I felt peaceful inside so that how and why questions just weren't all that important to me anymore.

    When I say you have to accept things first, I don't mean you accept in any superficial way, all the while holding on to those intense feelings of "it shouldn't have happened," or "I don't want it to be this way." You have to accept fully and completely, without holding back. Maybe a better way to say it is that you have to fully surrender yourself to what is.

    That sounds easier said than done. My greatest triumph was that I found a way that did just that for me. It might work for you and others, too. What I did was to sit myself down where I could be alone and bring up my feelings of pain. I deliberately thought about everything that hurt so that I could force that pain to make an appearance and do its absolute worst to me. I learned that pain is a coward. It prefers to dwell in dark places where it cannot be plainly seen. It stirs up fears about itself so that we are terrified by the mere thought of encountering the pain directly. In a way it is not all that different than the pain and fears your niece might be experiencing.

    The difference is that once you bring the pain to the surface in all its intensity (which is not something your niece would want to do) then you open yourself up as much as you can and allow yourself to experience exactly what that pain feels like. Focus concentration on the feelings of pain as if they were a mantra in meditation and feel how that pain feels. If there is fear there you let yourself feel that fear as well. Hold nothing back.

    I won't lie to you, initially it hurts like hell. It's like having a really vicious headache and banging on your head with a hammer just to make it worse. But if you are honest in examining this pain as intently as you can you find that very quickly, sometimes only a minute or two, the feelings of pain begin to change. I can't tell you what they will change into as I suspect this might be different from person to person. In fact when I was going through the process I found it was different for me with each new attempt I made. But the feeling does change into something different. It's almost as if pain is a dynamic thing, like mist, that swirls and changes even as you observe it. One moment it is this, the next moment it is something else. As you see it shift and change like this a lot of the fear the pain uses against you vanishes. The pain isn't in control anymore, you are, and being in control removes fear of the unknown.

    As I said, my own experience drug on for years until I applied what I've shared here. Once I began working with the pain this way I was at peace in my life again in a matter of a couple of months. At first I would confront my pain and it would change and I would go back to my normal life and the pain would come up again, very intense. So I would confront it and it would change and subside, then return again at another time. But with each new cycle of facing the pain things were never exactly the same as before and little by little I came to recognize the pain could not grip me with the same level of intensity it once had, even if I tried to stir it up to do so.

    That's how I came to experience personally what Frank Foolscrow had said about healing being an inner thing. I still have losses in life like everyone else. But in those years since I've come to practice these principles when I encounter loss and I find that healing comes ever more quickly. It is my sincere hope you and your family find these insights I gained to be equally as healing as I have.
     
  3. Flavia

    Flavia Member

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    Dear friend,
    I was so moved by your words that I wanted to call you "my friend"...
    Your answer let me speechless... I printed it so I can read it many times, for it went deep in my heart and mind. You're NOT insensitive, you're clear and honest; I can only thank you for the kindness and capacity to understand the other ( me, now), and go right to the point to help me with truth and compassion.
    One thing I'm already doing: being present,and available to my family too. And it's helping ME a lot. But the pain, my niece's pain, is irrevocable; hers, her mother's, all the family.
    And still, as you said, pain is coward, hiding in the darkest places of our souls. I'll have to go and search for mine.
    Thank you once more.
     
  4. bashmaki

    bashmaki Member

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    To paraphrase Rumi, "There is a field beyond judgement and nonjudgement; I will meet you there."
     
  5. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    Flavia

    Excellent! You can never have too many friends. I'm pleased to have made a new one!

    Here is a link to a talk given by a Buddhist monk, Ajahn Brahm:

    http://www.bswa.org/modules/mydownloads/visit.php?cid=4&lid=625

    He heads up a monastery in Australia. I'll bet some of our Australian forum members have heard of him. This particular talk was given on the subject of "accountability". But in it he discusses the idea of being present with those who are suffering from a Buddhist perspective. The talk is about an hour long but well worth the time it takes to listen.
     
  6. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    Bash

    I love Rumi. That's one of my top ten people I wish I could have met and spent time with. I'd also have loved to have met Matsuo Bashō, Khalil Gibran and Rabindranath Tagore.
     
  7. bashmaki

    bashmaki Member

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    I think I've read almost everything Khalil Gibran has written; even his private letters. Tagore is priceless. I'd have to agree with your sentiments. I've not heard of Basho. I'll have to check it out.
    Thanks,
     
  8. Flavia

    Flavia Member

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    Ta-tsu-wa and Bashmaki,

    How could I forget Tagore and Rumi??? You're very good friends indeed. And Ta-tsu-wa, I've already visited that link you sent me; it's precious and I have already sent it to my friends here where I live.
    And we - the family - will keep on trying to help our lovely girl...
     
  9. Montana Keith

    Montana Keith Member

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    My Heart is Full

    Dear Flavia, Bashmaki, & Ta-Tsu-Wa,
    I took a few minutes and read through some more posts on this thread this morning and my heart was deeply touched. Thank you each for taking time to share on this forum.

    (By the way, I am fascinated by the names you each have chosen to be identified with on this forum. If it isn't too forward of me, I'd love to hear what significance these names hold for you. My name here is: Montana Keith. It has something to do with my first name of “Keith” and where I grew up: Sun River Valley, Montana.)

    Ta-Tsu-Wa, I always look forward to reading your posts. You speak good words. They resonate with me deeply. You have attended to your life experiences in such a way that you have burned through, and continue to burn through, a lot of the “stuff” of the false self. Your post on being with someone who is very ill and/or dying was sublime. I know this took time to write. Thank you so much for taking the time to share.

    Your words reminded me of an excerpt from M. Scott Peck’s book The Different Drum.

    "So it was that all the advice that Job's friends gave him in his time of affliction served only to make him more miserable. The fact of the matter is that often the most loving thing we can do when a friend is in pain is to share that pain--to be there even when we have nothing to offer except our presence and even when being there is painful to ourselves."

    (The Different Drum, pg. 97, by M. Scott Peck)

    I feel so blessed that the good people of this forum have come into my awareness. Each of you are blessing me with your presence. Thank you. –Keith :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  10. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    Keith

    Here's a bit of a teaser for you, Keith. Maybe you'll be able to decipher it.

    If you'd met me during the reign of S.W.K. back in the 1970s you'd have called me a Lamanite. With the advent of mitochondrial DNA testing T.S.M. wouldn't know what to call me anymore. But you can just call me Ta-Tsu-Wa. It's what I was before and what I am now.
     
  11. Montana Keith

    Montana Keith Member

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    Ta-Tsu-Wa,

    If you've read other of my posts on this forum, you may know a little about my background. If not, I think the following may give you an idea that we've shared some common experiences:

    S.W.K. = Spencer W. Kimball

    B of M speaks of Lamanites & Nephites

    T.S.M = Thomas S. Monson

    You may ask: Are you, or were you, “M” too?

    My answer: I am, but in a very different way than I was for the first 46 years of my life. For the last few years I’ve been taking a break from organized religion. And you?
     
  12. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    Keith

    Ahh, I was afraid perhaps I'd made it too easy for you to guess. Should have been more abstruse.

    To dance around your question, were I what you suspect it would certainly make me an aggravating anomaly to them, wouldn't it?
     
  13. bashmaki

    bashmaki Member

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    Keith,
    Bashmaki is merely a Russian term for old shoe. It seems to fit OK.:rolleyes:


    The old shoe; of course.;)
     
  14. Panthau

    Panthau Member

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    Hi,

    Didnt wanted to make a new thread so im asking here...
    The last few times i heard Lifeflow, i really got bored.

    In the first weeks it was really intensive, things moved inside me and my hole body was vibrating most of the day. These symptomes are gone, and now when im listening to it, i kind of get...bored? The effect stays the same, its like sleeping a 5-8 hours, feeling refreshed and recharged.

    Am i ready for the next level or is this a another "stage" to get to release something?

    Btw...the more im listening to Lifeflow, the more i see how much i have to learn...i feel like a baby :-|

    Ty & Greetings
    Pan
     
  15. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Pan, you are doing ok.

    Thank goodness the stirring inside ourselves doesn't continue all the time.
    Meditation can help release a lot, but after a lot of releases the mind needs periods of rest to overcome what has happened.

    Think of it as excercise.
    Athlete's have this same problem, they can train every day, and every now and then they have these increadible trainings, where they break their own records and move to the next level of speed or stamina.
    However there are also periods where they can train all they want, but the body won't allow anything special to happen. It is taking it's rest even tho you are training your behind off.

    And then, after a certain period of time, a breakthrough comes and you improve a little in your performance.

    It is very much the same with meditation.

    You have had some rocky weeks, with a lot of stirring on the inside. You have gotten used to that, and now that your mind is taking it's rest, you might think that nothing is happening. However, things will get better soon.
    Don't fall into the trap of expecting something tho:
    That might sound as if it was caused by meditation ( or people might even think it is LifeFlow doing that, but it isn't ) but it probably was just a reaction you experienced that might have to do with meditation, or not. It could have been a virus too you know ;) :p

    In the Western world, we have been programmed to have results, to strive for a goal and not give up until we reach it.

    The problem with this mindset is that it goes directly against how meditation works.
    Meditation has most effect on our body and mind if we allow ourself to let go, to relax. For most westerners, like myself, this is something we need to overcome. We try to speed up the process, by focusing too hard on the mantra, or trying to duplicate the experiences from previous meditations.
    A Dutch comedian was told a few years ago that he had a terrible disease, and he had to stop doing shows. So he made a last tour, and called the show, roughly translated:

    " Take it easy, and be quick about it ! "

    That sums up how us westerners think quite well in my opinion.

    And from my own experience, feelings of boredom ( and yes I have had those too ) or feeling uneasy, or whatever other sensation you might have in meditation are caused by expectation.

    A good way for us Westerners to overcome this problem is replacing one mindset for the other with a little trick on the mind:
    Instead of having a goal of expecting release or not being bored, make your goal meditation itself.

    Paul Wilson, a meditation "guru", answered a question like this:

    Q: How do you know if it's been a good meditation?

    A: The fact that you did it makes it a good meditation.

    And I should not be telling you this, because you can make a goal out of this too, but I have noticed that every time I felt I was stuck in meditation and finally realised that I had to let go of my expectations again, that was the moment I had a new experience !
    But wether the experience comes or not, try to remind yourself constantly that meditation is the goal, nothing more !

    You are allready doing that, so you are doing ok ! :cool:
     
  16. Panthau

    Panthau Member

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    Hi again and thx 4 your reply Edwin.

    What you´re saying makes sense to me. In fact, im learning
    right now to let go in my meditation. I often meditated (not regulary),
    but only with Lifeflow i saw that im convulsive trying to not let go of
    what i think "control" is. Im getting deeper into my meditation every day,
    but sometimes i brake out of the norm :)

    These vibrations were the same, as i tried to astral project in the night. So maybe they have nothing to do with Lifeflow, as you said.

    Im just too impatient...i always was. I always hoped that this is my last cycle as human, i already read castaneda with 18 and was so happy to see a way out of here. As i get older (31 now), i realise how much there is to do left...but i realise also that im moving at a much faster speed than people around me...that gives me hope. I was always impatient, as i said...now with Lifeflow, i think i got the afterburner which i was always looking for :)

    Ty again 4 your reply,
    Pan
     
  17. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    It might just as well have everything to do with LF meditation, who will know ? it just doesn't matter, because it can only be merely a side-effect on the journey towards awakening :)
    I had never heard of Castaneda. From what I can make up of him in Wikipedia he must have been an interesting character ! I might be tempted to read a book by him. Which book(s) did you read ? Any recommendations ?
    Thank you for sharing ! It is always amazing to be able to peek into another person's life, his thoughts, feelings and experiences :)

    Besides I feel that I am learning when trying to explain something, let me explain:
    It might seem weird, but most realisations come while writing an explanation to someone else, that's what I noticed at least. Sometimes when I write I get the feeling it's not me writing, but more as if I am tapping into a bigger knowledge, bigger than me that is. It is also the place where all inspirational lifechanging ideas come from. I only get those during meditation and while writing in this forum :)
     
  18. bashmaki

    bashmaki Member

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    Pan,
    I've been through experiences just as you have described. I suppose most everyone goes through them. Some levels we are just rockin' and others levels one feels like skipping. I think Edwin has explained the reasons about as good as any I've read so far. But yup, that is kinda' how it seems to work.

    gus
     
  19. Panthau

    Panthau Member

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    I read all of his books, of course. The first book left me back like...what the hell? At the second book i began to realise what he was writing about. I´d read them as they were released.
    The books from Castaneda can have a deep impact on someone (so they had on me and on many i heard from), so beware :)

    Were you always like that or did your interest and empathy to others grow as u were getting older?

    That sounds great. I got that feeling that i have this bigger knowledge most of the time with me, but im pushing it away like someone i dont like. But it always breaks through again. Cant describe it very well, but maybe its something related to what you call bigger knowledge.

    Hi gus,

    Its just that experience that in only one level, as im still on level 10. Doesnt seem to matter anyway...i just have to learn to let go, of whatever may come to my mind.

    Its interesting how Lifeflow has its impact on my life. I have much more energy and im more stress resistant after only 3 weeks of using it.
    BUT this effect goes immediately away if i pass one day or dont use it concentrated. Things are now changing in my life, and i absolutly feel why. Its my inner response that changed to the possibilitys that come from outside to me, every day... now that people get another feedback from my inner self than before, things change. I got alot more customers, and so a lot more work, but its okay because im a lot more stress resistant :)

    So...im kind of addicted to Lifeflow atm. If i would stop, id fall back in my old patterns.

    If i someday understand why it works, im even more happy :)

    Thanks that i can be here and share with you,
    Pan
     
  20. Bhavya

    Bhavya Member

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    I find this true as well, writing and talking about spirituality. I think the more we go to the place of our true Self in meditation etc, the more we are open to Truth in the biggest sense of the word. Writing in the forum brings us to focus on spiritual topics that we often don't contemplate or speak about in our daily lives. Because our intentions are clearly to be helpful to our brothers and sisters here, our ego is in abeyance, allowing the wisdom to come through us.

    It's interesting about Castaneda. I read him many years ago when I was in my 30's. His shamanic voyages led him into the astral planes from what I remember - levels of consciousness where there seemed to be power games with others. I never felt it was my path because the only power I'm interested in is the Ultimate Oneness - Love/Compassion. Or as one of my first spiritual teachers used to say, "Divine Luminous Wisdom that dispels the darkness." :p

    Pan, I think you were right when you said to be cautious with Castaneda. The astral planes can be dangerous places.

    And that brings us back to the age-old question: why do we want to meditate? For some it's an adventure into unexplored realms. Others want peace. Some are called to find their True Self.. and everyone will use different vocabulary to describe whatever they're looking for.

    I think Michael has been very responsible in bringing Lifeflow forward the way he has, starting with beta and slowly moving us into Delta and Gamma. It's important to be safe in our explorations. :)

    May we all stay safe and reach the ultimate goal :):):)

    Bhavya :)
     

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